What is on the Agenda for Employers in 2020?

As we enter 2020, it is important to note that it is not just a time for new year’s resolutions but also a time for some key employment law changes to take place.

We have compiled a list of the most pivotal employment law changes coming in to effect this year.

What important UK employment law changes come into effect in 2020?

With the Government mired in the complications of Brexit, many employment law developments in the UK have stalled. But there are still some important changes that businesses should start preparing for.

So what is on the agenda for employers in 2020?

From April 2020, the National Living Wage for those 25 and over will increase to £8.72 per hour. The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds will increase by 6.5 per cent to £8.20. For 18 to 20-year-olds, they will see a rise of 4.9 per cent to £6.45 and under 18s will see 4.6 per cent increase to £4.55. Apprentices will see an increase of 6.4 per cent to £4.15.

Other Legislation Changes….

  • New right to a written statement of terms

Effective 6 April 2020

Current law

Currently, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of employment commencing.

New law

From 6 April 2020, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particularsfrom their first day of employment. Additional information will have to be included as part of the extended right. Given the new obligation is to provide particulars on ‘day one’, employers should begin preparation of the revised statement of particulars during the recruitment stage and ensure that these include every element of the new requirement. Employers will need to consider who might qualify as a worker, issuing contracts of employment only to employees and using a separate template when issuing particulars for workers.

  • Amendments to agency workers rules

Effective 6 April 2020

Current law

The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (AWR 2010) entitles agency workers to receive the same pay and basic working conditions as direct recruits once they have completed 12 weeks’ continuous service working in the same role. The ‘Swedish derogation’ currently provides an exemption to the right to equal pay, if agency workers are employed under a permanent contract of employment with the temporary work agency and are paid by the agency for periods between assignments.

New law

From 6 April 2020, the Swedish derogation is removed. Once agency workers have satisfied the 12-week qualifying period, they will be entitled to equal pay to workers who are engaged directly by the employer.

On or prior to 30 April 2020, agency workers whose existing contracts contain a Swedish derogation provision must be provided with a written notification by the agency that it will no longer have effect.

In addition, from 6 April 2020 all agency work-seekers must be provided with a key facts statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake the work.

  • Holiday pay reference period adjustment

Effective 6 April 2020

Current law

The calculation of holiday pay can be complicated, particularly for those with variable hours and variable rates of remuneration. Currently, the holiday pay reference period is 12 weeks.

New law

From 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Employers will be required to look back at the previous 52 weeks where a worker has worked and received pay, discarding any weeks not worked or where no pay was received, to calculate the average weekly pay.

It is hoped that this change will help to even out the variation in pay for workers, particularly those in seasonal or atypical roles.

  • New parental bereavement law

Effective 6 April 2020 (not confirmed)

Current law

There is no current law.

New law

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is expected to come into force in April 2020. If it does come into force, bereaved parents will have the right to two weeks of leave following the loss of child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Details of the new entitlement and those who will qualify will be set out in separate regulations. Bereaved parents will be entitled to take their leave in one two-week block or in two separate blocks of one week. The leave must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.

Bereaved parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will also be entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Those with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to take two weeks of unpaid leave.


The Conservative win during Decembers General Election has seen Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal agreement pass through the House of Commons, with the UK expected to leave the European Union (EU) on the 31st January 2020. This will lead to a new Australian-style points-based immigration system will be adopted in 2021. This will make the EU citizens subject to the same UK immigration controls as non-EU citizens. It is advised that businesses should write to employees who are European Economic Area (EEA) nationals to “urge them to apply for settled or pre-settled status, so they can remain living and working in the UK indefinitely.”

If you would like further advice and guidance on the above or any kind of HR/Employment Law Assistance,  please email Clare Hughes at clare@blueskyhrconsultancy.co.uk

Clare Hughes

Blue Sky HR Consultancy

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