UK Employment Law Timetable
An overview of the legal changes that took effect During 2020
|Britian Leaves the EU (Brexit)|
|Extension of the Right to a Written Statement to all Workers|
|Increase in the Holiday Pay Reference Period from 12 to 52 Weeks|
|Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay|
|National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) Rates|
National Minimum Wage Rates from April 2020
The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £8.21 to £8.72.
The National Minimum Wage rates will be increased from:
|Employment Tribunal Award Limits|
|April 2020||The government has announced new limits on certain employment tribunal awards and other amounts payable under employment legislation. The new limits are as follows:
These new limits will apply to dismissals that take effect on or after 6 April 2020.
|Statutory Payment Rates|
|April 2020||The Government has published the statutory payment rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay from April 2020.
The rate of statutory sick pay is also proposed to increase from £94.25 to £95.85 on 6 April 2020.
The increases to maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, which in 2019 is 5 April.
The new rates are as follows:-
To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit. This amount for April 2020 has not been announced yet.
|Employer’s Class 1A National Insurance Contributions on Termination Payments|
|April 2020||The introduction of employer’s class 1A NICs on termination payments above the £30,000 threshold are due to take effect from 6 April 2020.
HMRC’s consultation on the draft regulations for real-time reporting of Class 1A NICs on such termination awards closed on 16 January 2020.
A number of industry bodies have responded to the open consultation. In particular, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has sought confirmation that the Class 1A NICs on these payments will be shown separately from other PAYE data on employers’ business tax accounts, and has recommended that a new class name (such as Class 1C) should be used for these contributions to distinguish them from Class 1A NICs on benefits in kind that are paid after the year end.
A response to the consultation is expected to be published soon.
In the meantime, employers should be preparing themselves for the additional employer’s NICs costs which will be payable on termination payments above the £30,000 threshold from 6 April 2020.
|Change to Tax Treatment of Termination Payments Above £30,000|
|April 2020||Employers will be liable to pay Class 1A national insurance contributions on termination payments above £30,000 that are subject to income tax by the employee. The new measure will be introduced in the National Insurance Contributions Bill.|
|Abolition of the Swedish Derogation Relating to Pay for Agency Workers|
|April 2020||The draft Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 abolish the Swedish derogation, which gives employers the ability to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances. Under the derogation, agency workers can exchange their right to be paid the same as directly recruited employees for a contract guaranteeing pay between assignments. The Government’s Good work plan, published on 17 December 2018, highlights the misuse of the derogation by some employers. The legislation banning this type of contract is intended to prevent agency workers losing out on their equal pay rights.|
|Reduction to Threshold for a Request to Set Up Information and Consultation Arrangements|
|April 2020||The threshold required for a valid request to set up information and consultation arrangements under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426) is reduced from 10% to 2% of employees. The requirement for the request to be made by a minimum of 15 employees remains in place.
The new threshold is provided for by the draft Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019.
|Changes to Off-Payroll Working in the Private Sector|
|April 2020||The Government has announced that large and medium sized businesses in the private sector will be responsible for deciding whether the off-payroll working rules will apply. Where they do apply, the business, agency or third-party paying the individual’s intermediary will need to deduct income tax and National Insurance Contribution before making the payment. The definitions of large and medium sized businesses have not yet been released, but it is thought that the Government will use similar criteria to define small businesses as is currently within the Companies Act 2006. The changes are expected to be introduced from 6 April 2020, with the government publishing a further consultation in the coming months and draft legislation expected in summer 2019.|
|2020||T-Levels were announced in the 2017 Spring Budget, with the aim to replace 15,000 technical qualifications with 15 vocational routes, including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, health, and science.
A key part of the T-Level programme is a mandatory 45-day work placement. Currently most employers (71%) and training providers (74%) offer work placements of one to two weeks for 16 to 19 year olds. Only 8% of employers provide placements of the duration required for T-Levels.
|2020||Following the Queen’s Speech, a new Employment Bill appears to be on the horizon in 2020 and will bring together various proposed measures, including: