It’s nearly April and the time of year when the Government announces any significant employment law changes. Here’s a summary of what’s changing and what you need to do.

1st April 2020

What’s the change?

National Minimum Wage Increases

From 1st April 2020 the following rates apply:

  • Workers aged 25 and over – £8.72 per hour
  • Workers aged over 21 and up to 25 – £8.20 per hour
  • Workers aged over 18 and up to 21 – £6.45 per hour
  • Workers under 18 – £4.55 per hour
  • Apprentices – £4.15 per hour

What do I need to do?

Review your payroll and make sure anyone on an hourly rate gets the right increase. Also check those on a salary and make sure that for the hours they work, they are still receiving more than NMW. You might also want to review your other employee’s wages and pay structure to avoid wage compression (the shortening of the gap between low paid and higher paid workers). Check any deductions you are making (with the exception of statutory deductions) don’t push employee’s below NMW. Adjust your payroll systems or notify the company you outsource your payroll to.

What’s the change?

Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £95.85 per week and Statutory Maternity, Adoption, Paternity and Shared Parental pay will increase to £151.20

What do I need to do?

You shouldn’t need to do anything with this as your payroll system should automatically update these rates, but double check the first time you pay someone that the increases have been applied.

6th April 2020

What’s the change?

You must provide a written statement of employment particulars to all workers on day one of employment.

What do I need to do?

Make your contract of employment part of your offer/new starter pack so it never gets missed. The law applies not just to employees, but to anyone with worker status so this may be a good time to review all your personnel files and make sure you have the correct paperwork for everyone.

What’s the change?

If you have workers on irregular hours, you must now use a full 52 weeks reference period when calculating average pay, as opposed to 12 weeks.

What do I need to do?

If you have any spreadsheets that you use to calculate holiday pay for those with irregular hours, you may need to review and update any formulas. You also need to adjust the wording in your contract of employment and handbook or holiday policy accordingly. You may also need to change settings in your payroll and HR software systems if they are set up to calculate average hours over a 12 week period.

What’s the change?

Any parent, or adult with parental responsibility, will be entitled to up to 20 weeks Parental Bereavement Leave if they suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18. This also applies to parents who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. For those with at least 26 weeks continuous service, there is also Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay.

What do I need to do?

You may wish to add a Parental Bereavement Leave policy to your staff handbook, and/or adjust your current Compassionate Leave policy. You also need to familiarise yourself with the law, what entitlements are and what you can and can’t do as an employer. You may need to add Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay to your payroll system if this isn’t uploaded automatically from HMRC. Think about how you will deal with this situation should it arise.