Latest HR News – January 2020
The national living wage for workers aged 25 and over will be £8.72 p/hr, the NMW for 21-24 year olds will be £8.20; for 18 to 20 year olds £6.45; for 16-17 year olds to £4.55 and the apprenticeship rate £4.15. In comparison, the Living Wage Foundation have set the real living wage at £9.30.
Statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay will increase to £151.20 and statutory sick pay will increase to £95.85 p/week.
All new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment.
Kay’s comment: It will no longer be possible to delay the issuing of employment contracts for up to two months for new employees and workers. Check all employees and workers have relevant and accurate contracts and that up-to-date contract templates are in place to ensure terms and conditions are confirmed at the very start of employment.
The reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes will be extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks. This is aimed at evening out the variation in holiday pay calculations for workers in seasonal and atypical roles.
This new piece of legislation is expected to come into force in April and will give employed parents the right to two weeks leave if their child dies under the age of 18 or they suffer a still birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. It is also expected that employed parents will be able to claim payment for this period, if they have 26 weeks service or more with their employer.
All agency workers will be entitled to key information that sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency. The option to pay between assignment contracts known as the Swedish Derogation will be removed. This will mean all agency workers who have been in their employment for 12 weeks will be entitled to the same pay as those on permanent contracts. Agency workers who are considered to be employees will be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment if the reasons are related to them asserting rights associated with the Agency Worker Regulations.
Changes to IR35 rules will apply to all medium and large businesses. Under the new regime, the onus will shift from the intermediary to the end user to make a status determination.
Kay’s comment: Small businesses are exempt, but they have to meet two of the following criteria: have a turnover of £10.2M or less; have a balance sheet total of £5.1M or less; have 50 employees or less. Check your size and if the new rules affect your independent contractors, then review their employment status, contracts and pay accordingly. For more information check the Gov.UK website
A recent Employment Tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism can amount to a philosophical belief, giving protection under the Equality Act 2010.
Kay’s comment: Avoid the media hyperbole associated with this case and focus on the key message which is: to acknowledge and respect the beliefs of all your employees and workers.
HR Article: Occupational Burnout – Don’t let burnout affect you or your employees
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