• Hot Topics in 2020

    The Employment Bill 2019-2020 includes the following measures:

    • A single enforcement body for the labour market which proposes to replace the enforcement functions of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority, HM Revenue & Customs and the Health & Safety Executive;
    • Requirement on Employers to ensure that tips would be distributed on a fair and transparent basis;
    • the right to request a more predictable contract after 26 weeks service, as part of the Good Work Plan;
    • Extension of the existing redundancy protection, effectively making it harder to make employee’s redundant during pregnancy and for 6 months after they return from maternity leave;
    • a new right to neonatal leave and pay for parents of premature or sick babies;
    • a week’s leave for unpaid carers;
    • making flexible working the default provision unless the employer has a good reason, as set out in the Conservative party’s election manifesto.

    Good Work Plan changes taking effect on 6 April 2020

    • the right to a written statement of terms for all workers (not just employees) on or before the first day of employment;
    • additional information in the statement concerning the length of the engagement; the notice period; eligibility for sick pay and leave; other rights to leave; any probationary period, all pay and benefits and specific days and times of work;
    • removal of the “Swedish derogation” allowing employment businesses to avoid pay parity where agency workers receive pay between assignments;
    • introduction of a Kay Information document for agency work-seekers, including information on the type of contract, minimum rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom;
    • threshold to request Workplace Information & Consultation lowered to 2% from 10% of employees;
    • Increase of the reference period for determining an average week’s pay (for the purpose of calculating holiday pay) from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

    Off Payroll Working Rules

    Payments to workers supplied to large and medium sized companies by personal service companies will be treated as payments to employment income and subject to income tax and NIC and shifts the responsibility for tax compliance from the personal service company to the client or intermediary. This is included in the Finance Bill which has yet to be passed.

    Taxation of Termination Payments

    From 6 April 2020 all termination payments above £30,000 will be subject to employer’s NIC.

    Parental Bereavement

    This entitles all working parents to 2 week’s paid statutory leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 (including a still birth after 24 weeks of pregnancy). Secondary legislation is awaited which will implement the details of this provision.

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