The Good Work Plan – Changes in April 2020

Changes to Statement of Terms and Conditions – A Day 1 Right.

Previously, employers had 8 weeks to provide new employees with a Statement of Terms and Conditions, which for most employers was via an employment contract.

From 6 April 2020, this becomes a first day right – meaning that the employer is required to provide this statement on the first day of employment for employees, or the first day of engagement for workers.

Under Section 38 of the Employment Act 2002, unless an employer can demonstrate that there are exceptional circumstances, employees could be entitled to an award of between two and four weeks’ pay if their employer fails to provide them with a written statement of initial employment particulars or of any changes to their terms of employment. This right only applies, however, if the employee has successfully brought another substantive claim, for example Unfair Dismissal.

Members will potentially need to change their recruitment and onboarding process to ensure that the statement is provided on Day 1 of employment. This change also extends to workers from the same date. Scottish Engineering can provide employee and workers Statements of Terms appropriate to the legislation for members who take our services – please contact us if you need some help.


Changes to Terms and Conditions – New Requirements

In addition to the above, there are new requirements for what must be contained within Terms and Conditions, for both employees and workers, which were implemented on 6th April 2020.

In summary, the new requirements mean that the Statement must additionally contain details of:

  • Normal working hours, including the times of the week when the employee/worker is required to work, whether these hours or days may be variable and, if so, how they may vary.
  • Any benefits other than pay that the employee/worker is entitled to, including nonmonetary benefits such as vouchers or meals.
  • Any probationary period, including the duration and any conditions.
  • Sick pay entitlement.
  • Details of any other paid leave such as maternity leave and paternity leave.
  • Any training to be provided and details of any mandatory training that the employee/worker must complete.

Some of this will be new to most of our members companies. Again, we will be able to provide a compliant Statement of Terms and Conditions for our members companies who take services.


Changes to Holiday Pay Calculations

Hopefully we are all aware of the requirement to ensure that Holiday Pay is calculated to reflect average pay, which should include shift pay, overtime and commission. This had meant that employers required to average pay over the preceding 12 weeks before the holiday is taken, to carry out the calculation for the Holiday Pay.

Employers were required to exercise some discretion in the favour of employee if, for example, the employee had been off sick or on unpaid leave, which had the consequence of reducing that average. If that was the case employers were expected to ensure that the 12 week period was generally representative of average pay.

Changes introduced on 6th April 2020 mean that the reference period – the period over which pay is averaged to give a value for holiday pay – has changed from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This ensures employees don’t lose out if they take their holidays at quiet work times. This should be the preceding 52 weeks, unless as before there has been a period of sickness absence or other unpaid leave which might affect this figure, making it not generally representative.

This will be another – probably unwelcome for employers – change in this formula which has means changes to systems and/or lengthy calculations.

More broadly, the government plans to start an awareness campaign to make sure that employers and staff know that holiday pay must be calculated on the basis of average pay, so it is vital that employers are where they need to be. HMRC will continue the tough approach to enforcement of National Minimum Wage and extend the same approach to enforcement of holiday pay.


Parental Bereavement Leave

This new right is available to employees only.

There is no minimum service requirement.

It is available on the death of a child under 18 including a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The right is available to parent(s) including adoptive parents, prospective adopters, intended parents under surrogacy arrangement, a parent “in fact” (looks after the child in their own home for the last four weeks) or that person’s partner but excludes a paid carer.

The period of leave is either one or two weeks continuously or separately and can be used at any time in the first 56 weeks following the death.

During the first 8 weeks following the death, the employee only needs to give notice of intention to take leave before they are due to start work on the first day of the leave. Between weeks 9 – 56 at least one weeks’ notice must be given. Leave can be cancelled or rearranged with the same notice periods being given. Employees are protected against detriment or dismissal if they exercise this right.


Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay 

This payment is available to employees and office holders with at least six months continuous service and earnings of at least the lower earnings limit. It is paid at the same rate as statutory paternity and shared parental pay.

One or two weeks’ pay is available and can start on any day of the week. No payment is due for any week in which the employee does any work for the employer.


Repeal of Swedish Derogation for Agency Workers

This means all agency workers have a right to pay parity with comparable permanent employees after 12 weeks.


Implementation of IR35

This has been postponed until April 2021.