Employment Legislation Changes – April 2020

Dylan Loughlin

In the midst of everything that is going on with the Coronavirus Pandemic, it is important to remember to keep up to date with any other legislation changes which may affect your business. There have been a number of notable changes this week including a change to the National Minimum Wage as well as Statutory Payments. We have outlined these below for you’re convenience. To ensure you keep on top of these changes, sign up to receive our newsletter.

National Minimum Wage has increased. From 6th April 2020, the new rates are:

  • The National Living Wage for ages 25 and above – up 6.2% to £8.72
  • The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds – up 6.5% to £8.20
  • For 18 to 20-year-olds – up 4.9% to £6.45
  • For under-18s – up 4.6% to £4.55
  • For apprentices – up 6.4% to £4.15

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 &The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2020 The above have been enacted and Statutory Payments have increased: -Statutory Guarantee Payment (Lay-Off) is now £30.00 per day/ £150.00 per week (effective today) -Statutory Sick Pay has increased to £95.85 per week (effective today) -Maximum amount of “a week’s pay” for the purpose of calculating a redundancy payment or various awards, including the basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal is now £560.00 (effective today) -Limit on amount of compensatory award for unfair dismissal is now £88,693.00 (effective today) -Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Shared Pay has increased to £151.20 per week (effective yesterday) GB CHANGES ONLY The Minster for the Economy NI has committed to introduce legislation which entitles employees to take paid time off under Parental Bereavement Leave. As and when this develops, updates will be sent. NB This is not enacted in NI- this is GB only.

For those with businesses in GB, it allows any parent to take paid time off for any child which has passed.

1. It is for employees only. 

2. It includes parents, intended parents, partner of a parent (any gender), surrogacy and if the person was living with the child up to four weeks before the child passes. 3

. The period of leave is a minimum of one week and a maximum of two weeks.

4. The two weeks need not be consecutive and can be taken for up to 56 weeks after the passing of the child.

5. There are notice requirements to be given to the employer. 

6. The employee will accrue annual leave.

7. The employee must return to their original job role, responsibilities and functions. 

Employers must issue written particulars of employment from Day 1, i.e. a contract of employment. If the business hires, “workers,” inclusive of Agency Workers, they should be given a statement which outlines clearly, remuneration, hours to work, days to work and all other information contained within the 1996 Act. The statement should be no less than two A4 pages. NB This is not enacted in NI- this is GB only.

Swedish Derogation contracts have now been abolished. If you currently operate under those contracts, you have 24 days to notify the worker that this is now being replaced, if not they will have grounds to claim for Equal Pay and ask for a determination by an Employment Judge. NB This is not enacted in NI- this is GB only.

Holiday reference periods have been updated and holidays should now be worked out on the basis of an average over 52 weeks and be inclusive of commission, overtime and bonuses (effective from today’s date). This is reflective of a Northern Irish case law decision by the NI Court of Appeal in Agnew v PSNI and we suspect that this legislation will be mirrored within NI. NB This is not enacted in NI- this is GB only.

Any monies above the £30,000 threshold for termination of employment will now not only be liable for tax, but for National Insurance contributions also. NB This is not enacted in NI- this is GB only.