Tue 28 Jan 2020

Changes to employment documentation in April 2020

April 2020 will see changes to the rules on the provision of written statements of particulars of employment that will affect nearly every employer, employee and worker in Great Britain.  

What is currently required?

At the moment all employees must, as a minimum, be given a written statement of terms and conditions that complies with the requirements set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.  This must be given to the employees within two months of their start date, including where their employment lasts for at least one month but less than two months.  Many employers issue contracts of employment which encompass this information.

What is changing?

There are three significant changes that will take effect on 6 April 2020, These will apply to employees or workers beginning their employment/engagement on or after that date.  These are:-

1.         Written statements of terms and conditions must be given to workers as well as employees.

2.         The majority of written particulars must be provided in a single document on or before the first day of work.  There are exceptions for specified terms relating to pensions, collective agreements, training entitlements and certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures which must be given no later than two months after the beginning of employment.

3.         Additional information must be included in the statement.  Specifically this is:-

  • details of any probationary period including any conditions and its duration
  • days of the week the worker is required to work, whether or not such hours or days are variable and, if they are, how they vary or how that variation is to be determined
  • details of any paid leave to which the worker is entitled
  • details of all remuneration and benefits
  • details of any training entitlement including whether it is mandatory and/or if the worker must pay for it

Other changes that are taking place which may impact on the contracts of some employers, or their policies or handbooks, relate to the increase in the period for determining an average week's pay, for the purposes of calculating annual leave, from 12 to 52 weeks.  If this is something that is mentioned in employment documentation it will require to be updated.

What about agency workers?

New legislation will also be taking effect that requires employment businesses to provide agency workers with a Key Information Document containing prescribed information. The legislation also abolishes the "Swedish derogation", meaning that all agency workers will have the right to pay parity after 12 weeks.

What needs to be done?

We would recommend that a review is undertaken of the employment documentation you are currently using to ensure it is brought up to date with the new legislation.  It would be good practice to consider reviewing other policies or handbooks at the same time to avoid any inconsistencies arising. 

We can review your current terms and conditions of employment and amend them to ensure that they are compliant for a fixed fee of £475 plus VAT (subject to conditions). If you would like us to review your contracts or if you require further information on the changes please call or email your usual Morton Fraser contact or email Innes Clark at innes.clark@morton-fraser.com.

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