Employers – The Good Work Plan is here are you prepared?

In 2018 the UK Government published the Good Work Plan which was the response to the 2017 Taylor review of Modern Working practices. The Taylor review was an independent report on the challenges of the modern-day working practices and suggested a catalogue of changes to employment practices. 

The Good Work Plan is the government’s response where many of these suggestions were accepted.  These changes have been dubbed the biggest overhaul of employment law in 20 years.

Vicky Murphy, HR Manager at STEP has summarised the key changes you need to know as an employer.

April 2019 Changes

Employment Tribunals – Increasing maximum penalty
In April 2019 the maximum penalty a business can be fined increased from £5,000 to £20,000 if you are found to have breached any worker rights, and the breach has one or more aggravating features.

Payslip changes
In April 2019, what you are required to include in payslips changed. You must now give all your staff (employee and workers) itemised payslips. You may also have to put the number of hours worked on the payslip.

You now need to include the following on your payslips:

  • – earnings before and after deductions
  • – the amount of any deductions that may change each time you’re paid, for example, tax and National Insurance
  • – the number of hours you worked, if your pay varies depending on time worked
  • – employers must also explain any fixed amount deductions and what they are;

April 2020 Changes

Holiday pay reference periods

Current: When working out a worker’s holiday pay entitlement, you would look back at their previous 12 paid weeks.

New at 6 April 2020:  When working out a worker’s holiday pay entitlement, you would now look their previous 52 weeks hours. For workers who’ve been with the organisation for fewer than 52 weeks, the reference period is however many weeks they’ve been employed.

Right to Written Statement of the Main Terms
Employers are required to issue new employees with a Written Statement of the Main Terms and Conditions of Employment.Current: These terms must be issued within two months of starting work.

New at 6 April 2020:  Employees and workers are entitled to a Written Particulars from day one of employment. Written terms must also now include:

  • – How long the job is expected to last (or state the end date of a fixed-term contract)
  • – Terms relating to normal hours of work. This includes day of the week the worker will be required to work, plus whether these days/hours will vary
  • – How much notice is required from both the employer and the employee
  • – Details of eligibility for sick leave and Statutory Sick Pay
  • – Details of any other types of paid leave, including family-friendly leave
  • – Duration and conditions of any probationary period
  • – Remuneration
  • – Training entitlements, requirements, and whether it’ll be paid for by the employer
  • – Details of other employee benefits, not just those relating to pay

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Brand New:  From April 2020 a parent will be entitled to 2 weeks leave for the death of a child under the age of 18, if they have been continuously employed for 26 weeks they will receive 2 weeks of statutory payment.

Agency workers – Swedish Derogation Abolished
Current: Although agency workers are entitled to receive equal pay when they reach 12 weeks the Swedish Derogation was a way employers could combat this and maintain cheaper labour.

New from 6 April2020: Workers will no longer be excluded from the equality provisions. This guarantees equal wages with comparable permanent workers for all agency workers once they reach 12 weeks’ service in one assignment. If you employ agency workers, you must inform them that they have the right to equality of treatment. This statement must be given by the 30th April 2020.

Off payroll working

From 6 April 2020 the rules change in relation to who should be on or off a company payroll.  This rule will apply to all public authorities but also medium and large sized clients.  It will be up to the employer to decide the employment status of workers, and if this isn’t done correctly the employer will pick up the tab for tax.

Statutory Payments

Between the 1st and 6th April 2020 statutory payments increased;

On 1st April 2020 National Minimum Wage rates increased

  • – NLW, which is payable to all workers aged 25 and over, will rise from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour
  • – The Adult rate of the NMW, which is payable to all workers who are aged 21 to 24 years old, will rise from £7.72 to £8.20 per hour.
  • – The youth development rate, which is payable to all workers who are aged 18 to 20 years old, will rise from £6.15 to £6.45 per hour
  • – The young workers’ rate, which is payable to workers aged under 18 will rise from £4.35 to £4.55 per hour
  • – The apprentice rate will rise from £3.90 to £4.15 per hour.

On 5th April 2020 Statutory maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental and Adoption pay will increase from £148.68 to £151.20 per week

On 6th April 2020, Statutory sick pay will increase from £94.25 to £95.85 per week.

On 6th April 2020 the lower earnings limit increases to £120

On 6th April 2020, the maximum amount of a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy pay is also set to increase from £525 to £538.

There are more changes coming but none have been confirmed yet. If your business will be affected by these changes you can get in touch with our HR team at www.stephr.co.uk.

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