18th March 2020

Employment Law Changes 2020

Employment law is changing in April 2020. Now is the time prepare and review your procedures and policies


Written Employment Contracts

Some of the changes have resulted from the Good Work Plan, published in December 2018, and in the governments words “This plan sets out our vision for the future of the UK labour market.” It’s estimated that there are 1.3 million people in the gig economy. With such a rapid growth in this sector employment law must keep pace.

Current law:

At the moment, all employees that have been employed for more than once month must be provided with a contract of employment within two months of employment commencing.

New law:

All staff and workers must be provided with a written contract regardless of term of contract and must be provided on the first day of work.

Information currently required for employment contracts

Name of employee and employer Date of commencement
Rate of remuneration and method of calculation Intervals at which remuneration is paid
Hours of work Holiday accrual, pay and bank holidays
Terms relating to sickness and sick pay Length of notice
Job title If temporary contract, expected duration
Place of work Terms if working outside the UK


Additional information to now be included

Days of the week to be worked Whether hours of work are variable
If hours are variable, how are they determined Probation period
Entitlement to other types of paid leave Additional remuneration / benefits
Required training Pension schemes
Disciplinary and grievance procedures


Act now and review your written employment contracts. Employers are not required to update existing contracts, however an existing employee can request an updated contract. This must be provided within one month of the request. If an existing employee requires a change in their contract (example if they change their job role) then they must be provided with the updated written employment contract.


Holiday Pay reference Period

For irregular and shift workers holiday entitlement reference period has increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Weeks with no pay will not count towards the 52-week average. Where there are less then 52 weeks service, count as many full weeks as possible. Contractually obliged overtime must be included as well, meaning that staff can build up their holiday entitlement by working more.

Working pattern How a week’s pay is calculated
Fixed hours and fixed pay (full- or part-time) A worker’s pay for a week
Shift work with fixed hours (full- or part-time) The average number of weekly fixed hours a worker has worked in the previous 52 weeks, at their average hourly rate
No fixed hours (casual work, including zero-hours contracts) A worker’s average pay from the previous 52 weeks (only counting weeks in which they were paid)


Parental Bereavement Leave

The introduction to Parental Bereavement Leave is now a statutory entitlement. Employees are entitled to two weeks bereavement leave from day one of their employment if they lose a child under the age of 18 or have a stillbirth from week 24 of pregnancy. Employees can either take full two weeks or they can take two separate one week blocks. Parental bereavement leave must be used within 56 weeks of the child’s death. Payment is entitled after 26 weeks continuous service and is either 90% of salary or £151.20, whichever is lower. For employers this statutory pay is reclaimable in the usual way from their PAYE liability.

Minimum Wage
Rates from 1 April 2019 Rates from 1 April 2020
25 years and over £8.21 ph £8.72 ph
21 – 24 years old £7.70 ph £8.20 ph
18 – 20 years old £6.15 ph £6.45 ph
16 – 17 years old £4.35 ph £4.55 ph
Apprentices under 19 or 19 or over in their first year of apprenticeship £3.90 ph £4.15 ph


Maternity / Adoption / Paternity / Shared Parental Leave: £151.20

Statutory Sick Pay: £95.85


There are new rules to personal service companies that come under the IR35 ruling. The responsibility for deciding the tax status of a personal service company is now put on the end client rather than the personal service company. However, the end client must qualify as a medium to large company, this new ruling does not apply to small companies. If a personal service company is deemed to come under IR35 then they must have tax and national insurance deducted as would an employee.