We have been working with care homes to update their contracts and advise on the risks of charging the resident a regular “top-up” or additional fee where a resident is funded through NHS CHC
We must be living in a strange world when the usual April changes in employment law ground us and even offer some light relief!
This ebriefing outlines the changes that have come into force this week as expected and those that have been put back.
Written statement of particulars
As from 6 April 2020, all employees and workers will have the right to a written statement of particulars of their employment from day one of their employment.
Action More details and action points can be found in our ebriefing on this change.
Holiday reference period
Holiday pay for workers is currently determined by taking a reference period of 12 weeks to calculate their average week's pay. From 6 April 2020, this reference period will extend to 52 weeks. The shorter reference period often puts seasonal workers at a disadvantage when it comes to holiday pay, so this longer reference period will lessen that disadvantage.
Action Check all relevant contracts have been updated to reflect this change and similarly for new starters. In addition, the Government has produced guidance on the changes.
Abolition of the Swedish Derogation
The Swedish Derogation permits agencies to opt-out of their obligation to pay agency staff the same as their permanent colleagues after 12 weeks of employment, provided the agency paid their staff in between assignments. The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 will prohibit that opt-out from 6 April 2020.
Key Information Document
From 6 April 2020, temporary work agencies will be required to provide agency work seekers with a Key Information Document. This must contain prescribed information, including:
- the type of contract;
- the minimum expected rate of pay;
- how they will be paid and by whom (for example, by an intermediary or umbrella company);
- any deductions or fees that will be taken;
- any non-monetary benefits to which they will be entitled;
- any entitlement to annual leave and payment in respect of such leave; and
- an illustrative example of what this might mean for their take-home pay.
Action Ensure that agencies you are engaging are not continuing with the Swedish Derogation and have provided the Key Information Document. When engaging new agencies, you may want to request confirmation that temporary workers are given the Key Information Document.
Parental bereavement leave and pay
As from 6 April 2020, parents who suffer the death of a child either under the age of 18 years or stillborn after 24 weeks' pregnancy are entitled to two week's parental bereavement leave. There is no qualification period; this right applies to the child's parent(s), which includes an adoptive parent, prospective adopter, intended parent under a surrogacy arrangement, a parent "in fact" (someone looking after the child in that person's own home for the last four weeks), or that person's partners, but not a paid carer. The leave can be taken in a block of two weeks or individual weeks and should be taken within 56 weeks of the bereavement.
Employees who have 26 weeks' continuous service are entitled to Parental Bereavement Pay which is paid at the same rate as Statutory Paternity Pay or Shared Parental Leave Pay.
Action Update the appropriate policy to reflect this change and inform employees of this new right.
Statutory payment rates
National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
These rates will increase from 1 April 2020 to the following:
|Year||25 and over||21 to 24||18 to 20||Under 18||Apprentice|
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Maternity (SMP), Paternity (SPP) and Adoption (SAP) Pay
|SSP||£95.85 (previously £94.25)||From 6 April 2020|
|SMP||£151.20 (previously £148.68)||From 5 April 2020|
|SPP||£151.20 (previously £148.68)||From 5 April 2020|
|SAP||£151.20 (previously £148.68)||From 5 April 2020|
Awards at Tribunal
These increases are effective from 6 April 2020:
|Basic Tribunal Award||£16,140|
(26-52 weeks' pay)
** or a year's salary if lower
Extension of IR35 – April 2021
IR35 shuts down a loophole whereby contractors working under the umbrella of a personal services company but treated as de facto employees, are paying less tax and National Insurance (NI). Originally, before the Coronavirus shut down, as from 6 April 2020, in both the public and private sectors, it would be the responsibility of the employer to assess the tax status of contractors working in this way and make the necessary deductions for tax and NI. (This change was made in the public sector in April 2017).
Private sector companies affected by this change will be those with:
- more than 50 employees,
- an annual turnover of more than £10.2m, and
- a balance sheet worth over £5.1m.
This has now been put back to April 2021
Action Whilst this is a welcome reprieve for employers, we would encourage all employers to diarise this for the autumn to check all audits of contractors have been completed and that they are aware of where IR35 will impact them. For employers who are not sure whether contractors are caught by IR35, the Government has set up online test to assist https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-employment-status-for-tax.
Gender pay gap reporting
The Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) decided on 24 March 2020 to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for this reporting year (2019/20).
For further information about any of the topics, please contact Matt Wort.
The parliamentary processes are complete and the Restriction of Public Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) which cap exit payments in the public sector at £95,000 will be in force from 4 November.
As the UK’s social housing sector recovers from the initial Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, now is the time to focus on the challenges that may emerge next.
There is no universal approach to regenerating town centres. However, housing must be considered a key part of any regeneration project – providing well-needed new homes and economic growth.
Friday 16 October marks the 6th annual Wear Red Day in England, Wales and Scotland. Wear Red Day is the brainchild of the charity; Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC). SRTRC aims to educate young people so they are equipped to recognise and challenge stereotypes, misconceptions and negative attitudes towards race.
Alongside the Building Safety Bill published in July 2020, the Fire Safety Bill is a key step in the Government’s strategy to improve building and fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy
Government regulations came into force on 23 September 2020 providing LGPS (local government pension scheme) employers with flexibility on meeting exit payments and LGPS funds with flexibility too
Charity Financials, the financial information program from Wilmington Charities, has published its latest Income Monitor report.
As employers face the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 31 October 2020, Katherine Sinclair and Libby Hubbard discuss the intricacies of the redundancy process for furloughed employees.
We have learned many things over the last six months; the latest lesson is that there is no new normal. The Government initiatives and guidance may have slowed down a pace, but the challenges for employers and their employees remain.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.