Tue 07 Apr 2020

New Legislation, Guidance & Consultations - April 2020

A lot this month with information on IR35, calculating holiday pay, consultation on the new right to carers leave, new ICO guidance and an update on the Vento bands.

Much of the new legislation that has been implemented to address the consequences of coronavirus is covered in detail in other areas of the April employment law e-bulletin so, in this section, we are only covering virus related information not dealt with elsewhere and other unrelated legislation, guidance and consultations.

Many businesses are concerned about being able to meet GDPR requirements while dealing with fewer resources.  The ICO has published a blog addressing this and other common areas of concern.  The message is that the ICO understands the challenges being faced by organisations, and the blog is essential reading for data controllers.

Although implementation has subsequently been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Government report and conclusions on the IR35 review was published at the end of February along with further guidance on communicating the changes to clients and customers and a new self help guide on how to identify schemes that could result in contractors taking part in tax avoidance.

The Government has published its response to the consultation on neonatal leave and pay.  It is now intended to introduce leave and pay of up to 12 weeks for parents of babies in neonatal care via the Employment Bill.

A consultation seeking views on the proposed one week's unpaid carer's leave was opened on 16 March and is due to run until 3 August 2020.  Views are sought on how carers use existing employment rights, who should be eligible for the leave and what it can be taken for, how the leave would be available and the process for taking it, and the cost and benefits to employers and employees.

New guidance has also been published on how to calculate holiday pay for workers whose hours and/or pay are not fixed.  It takes account of the increase in the holiday pay reference period from 12 weeks to 52 weeks taking effect from 6 April 2020.

The annual increase to Vento bands - the name for the guidance previously issued by the Court of Appeal on quantifying awards for injury to feelings in discrimination cases - has been announced.  The annual update for all cases presented on or after 6 April 2020 is as follows:-

  • Lower band (less serious)                          £900 - £9,000
  • Middle band                                                £9,000 - £27,000
  • Upper band (more serious cases)           £27,000 - £45,000

Awards over £45,000 will be made only in exceptional cases.

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