We’ve never had a year like it. Rapid organisational changes brought on by lockdown, government furlough schemes and economic instability. In the light of everything else that 2020 has thrown at businesses, you may have missed some of the new employment legislation that came into force this year.
Whatever the size of your business, it’s vital that your HR processes and employment contracts stay up to date with all of the latest legislation. Make sure you haven’t missed any of the following:
National Minimum Wage changes
Ensure that your contracts reflect the latest increases in National Minimum Wage, which increased in April 2020 to £8.72 for workers over 25, £8.20 for those aged 21–24, £6.45 for workers aged 18–20, and £4.55 for those who are 16 and 17.
It’s vital that your organisation has the proper pay records to prove it has complied with minimum wage increases.
Parental bereavement leave and pay
2020 saw the introduction of “Jack’s Law”. Parents who experience the death of a child are now entitled to up to two weeks parental bereavement leave, with a statutory minimum rate of pay.
This entitlement also applies where parents have experienced a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Make sure that your leave policies cover this new right, and that managers are equipped to administer it properly.
Increases in other statutory payments
Ensure that your contracts and policies include the new higher rates of statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay, which rose to £151.20 per week this year. Statutory sick pay also rose, and is now £95.85 per week.
Also, be aware that statutory sick pay for employees with coronavirus begins on day one of their sickness absence, rather than requiring three ‘waiting days’ before coming into effect. This will also need to be reflected in your sick leave procedures.
Written statements for all workers from day one
A further major change to employment legislation this year means that all workers require a written statement of terms and conditions. Previously this was only required for employees, and not for casual or zero hours workers.
There is also no longer a minimum length of service before receiving a written statement. All workers will require one on their first day of employment.
Employers will also have to include details such as training, probation period, rights to any paid leave such as maternity/paternity etc. and detail any additional bonuses within the employment contract.
Holiday pay for workers on irregular hours
New legislation in 2020 requires businesses to calculate holiday pay for workers on irregular hours (such as seasonal staff) differently. The reference period for calculating holiday pay changes from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
This will require an adjustment in how HR teams and businesses calculate holiday pay allowances, which will need to be reflected in employment contracts for workers on irregular hours.
Keep your business up to date
Make sure that your business stays up to date with all the latest changes in legislation. If you’d like a free contract review, please get in touch with us.
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