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The year 2020 is set to see a range of new laws come into effect.
Here are five key employment law changes that could affect you at work, as explained by Abigail Hubert of Birketts LLP to The Gazette.
From how holiday pay is calculated – to the leave you can expect when you are grieving – these are worth knowing.
Improved rights for agency workers
‘Swedish Derogation,’ also known as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts would previously see agency workers agree a contract that would remove their rights to equal pay with permanent counterparts after 12 weeks working on the same assignment.
From April 6, these will no longer be permissible and agency workers who have been in their employment for 12 weeks will be entitled to the same pay as those on permanent contracts.
As well as this, all agency workers will be entitled to a key information document that more clearly sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.
Agency workers who are considered to be employees will be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment if the reasons are related to asserting rights associated with The Agency Worker Regulations.
Holiday pay calculations changing
From April 6, the reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes will be extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.
This could affect employees who work variable hours seasonally.
New parental bereavement leave
In September 2018, a new workplace right for paid leave to be given to bereaved parents was officially enshrined in law.
The first of its kind in the UK, the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 is expected to come into force in April 2020 and will give employed parents the right to two weeks leave if they lost a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Employed parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
New right to a written statement of terms
Currently, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of employment commencing.
From April 6, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment. Additional information will have to be included as part of the extended right.
Accountability for tax shifting
At present, the IR35 rules apply where an individual personally performs services for a client through an intermediary. If the services were provided under a direct contract, the worker would be regarded for tax purposes as being employed by the client.
Currently, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to determine whether IR35 applies.
From April 6, changes to IR35 rules will be implemented for medium and large businesses in the private sector and will largely mirror changes that took effect in the public sector in 2017.
Under the new regime, for all contracts entered into, or payments made on or after April 6, the onus will shift from the intermediary to the end user client to make a status determination.
Responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance will shift to the party who pays for the individual’s services, known as the ‘fee-payer.’
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