Employment Law Update
A late winter blast across the North of England left many employers short staffed on Monday morning. If you have not already done so, you may find it useful to access our online portal which provides a range of policies and procedures and includes an updated Adverse Weather Policy (available to retained clients only).
There are several new employment law developments, which will take effect from April 2020, of which all employers need to be aware. These are summarised below.
Bereavement Leave For the first time, with effect from 6 April 2020, employees will have a statutory right to time off for bereavement. The new Act has been named “Jack’s Law” and came about after the parents of a child discovered that there was no statutory right to bereavement leave following the accidental death of their young son, Jack, and later successfully campaigned for the introduction of legislation.
The new Act applies only to employees who have suffered the bereavement of a child under the age of 18 or have suffered a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy. All affected employees are entitled to two weeks of bereavement leave which must be taken either in two consecutive weeks, or two separate blocks of one week to be taken at different times during the 56 weeks following the child’s death. Employees with more than 26 weeks continuous service will also be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay, paid at a rate of £148.68 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings if this is lower.
A Compassionate Leave Policy is available to our retained via our online portal which reflects the new legislation.
Statement of Terms and Conditions Currently employers have up to two months to issue a written statement of terms of employment to any new employee working for them. However, new regulations which take effect from 6 April 2020, will require a written statement of terms to be given to an employee on or before the first day of their employment.
It is also significant that this right will now extend to workers rather than just employees.
Living and minimum wages
The national living wage, which applies to all workers over the age of 25, will increase to £8.72 with effect from 1 April 2020. The standard rate increases to £8.20 and similar increases are in place for apprentices and younger workers.
The changes to living and minimum wage rates are summarised as follows: 25+ £8.72 21-24: £8.20 18-20: £6.45 16-17: £4.55 Apprentice: £4.15