December 2, 2019

Written Statement of Employment Particulars

From 6th April 2020, the law governing Written Statement of Employment Particulars (“WSEP”) is changing. The new law requirement will impose the following major changes;

  1. WSEP are required to contain additional information further to the current requirement;
    1. Entitlements to any paid leave (Sick, Maternity, Paternity, Adoption).
    2. Hours / Days of the week that the employee or worker is required to work. This is to include whether it may be varied and if so, how.
    3. Details of any probationary period.
    4. Details of any compulsory training provided by the employer.
    5. Details of any compulsory training not provided by the employer.
    6. Any other benefit not covered elsewhere within the WSEP.
  2. Employers are to issue all new employees and workers with a WSEP, inclusive of the information above, on or before their first date of employment (previously 2 months).
  3. Previous employees and workers can request their WSEP, inclusive of the additional information listed above. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a requested WSEP within one month.

Bereavement Leave

From April 2020 (exact date yet to be confirmed), The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act is coming into effect. This entitles employees the right to time off following the death of a child.

The status of parent is subject to eligibility criteria allowing primary carers as well as direct parents to benefit from this entitlement. This allows for two weeks paid leave for any employee if they suffer the loss of a child under 18, or if they experience a stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

As a statutory entitlement, this will override any current Bereavement Policy in place in the event of child loss. 

Swedish Derogation Contracts/Pay between Assignments

From 6th April 2020, Swedish Derogation Contracts are legally prohibited.

This will strictly disallow all agency workers, over 12 weeks, to be contracted out of the same pay and conditions of their permanent employee equivalent. This is an attempt to avoid worker discrimination and to encourage more workplaces to hire actual employees on a permanent basis.

What are Swedish Derogation Contracts?

A particular type of agency work employment contract allowed under the Agency Workers Regulations. This occurs when agency workers enter into a contract that agrees to pay them in the gaps between their assignments.

What will it affect?

This is suspected to have a major effect on the gig economy of short term contracts and freelance work, both for the employer and the employee.

Business’ relying on these types of contracts must seamlessly adhere to the new law. As of the time of writing, the legislation does not specify what the result will be on a company breaking this law, but it is suggested to be strictly enforced.

Recent studies have suggested that the removal of Swedish Derogation Contracts could have up to £380M increase to all hirers across the UK.

Other Employment Law reviews coming in April 2020

The Holiday Reference Period is proposed to be changed:

The period of 12 weeks in order to calculate the pay of an employee/worker working irregular hours is set to change from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

It is suggested that it will be up to the employer to track the working hours of the employees throughout the entire year, inclusive of any overtime. This will cause more admin work on the employer’s part to monitor and track the work of each individual in order to comply with this.

Increase in the Break of Continuous Service Period is proposed to be reviewed:

Currently the gap of one week or more is a sufficient enough time to break the continuous service of an employee thereby restarting the timer of their service.

This is important as once an employee reaches two years continuous service they are entitled to the coverage of Unfair Dismissal, only allowed to those exceeding two years or if they fall into a protected category under the Equality Act.

This gap is due to be reviewed and proposed to be increased to four weeks to break the continuous service period.

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About the author 

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners and regularly writes articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law. Outside of the office, James is a keen Cricketer, playing in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves going to watch his football team, Crewe Alexandra. Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.

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