EMPLOYMENT UPDATE: Will your contracts be compliant come 6th April 2020?
At present employers are required to provide employees with a written statement of particulars of employment before their employment starts and within at least 2 months of the start date. That statement must set out certain information, such as pay, hours, the grievance and disciplinary policies. This is not an exhaustive list.
However, key changes will come into effect from 6th April 2020 in respect of these particulars. Here we set out what those key changes are and how you can comply. We also look at the changes that have come into effect in relation to the national minimum wage.
1. Workers are now entitled to a statement of particulars
The right to written particulars of employment has been extended to workers as well as employees. This is only for new workers who start after 6th April 2020 or if you re-engage or offer new terms to the worker after this date.
TIP Create two separate contracts: one for workers and one for employees. Otherwise you risk workers being deemed employees.
2. Statement to be provided on day one
Employers must now provide the statement on the first day of employment, or before. Some information can be given later, such as pension, collective arrangements and training. This is the same for employees on short time contracts, who were previously excluded from this right.
TIP Having a standard draft contract that you can amend as needed will help you ensure you are able to comply with this new change
3. Information that MUST be included in the particulars
The following additional information now must also be contained in the particulars:
- hours of work; this must include particulars of the days of the week the worker is required to work, whether or not such hours or days may be variable and, if they may be, how they vary or how that variation is to be determined
- details of any other forms of paid leave other than sickness and holiday, for example compassionate leave
- details of any probationary period
- details of any training entitlement and any part of this that is compulsory
- particulars of any compulsory training the employer will not pay for
TIP As you will see, contracts must now contain details of training. This will be particularly relevant to employed DCPs. There is also now a greater risk that if you add such information into your self-employed DCP contracts, they could be deemed to be a worker.
4. Existing employees
You do not need to update contracts for existing employees; there is a transitional period. However, there are two exceptions to this. First an employee can request an updated contract. Second if any of the particulars are amended after 6th April, whether it be to the information required before or after 6th April 2020.
TIP Given that you will need to provide new particulars to any new employees in any event, we recommend implementing new contracts to all staff now to deal with these changes. This will ensure consistency across the workforce.
National Minimum Wage
From 1st April 2020 the new rates are as follows:
|Year||25 and over||21 to 24||18 to 20||Under 18||Apprentice|
|April 2020 (current rate)||£8.72||£8.20||£6.45||£4.55||£4.15|
|April 2019 to March 2020||£8.21||£7.70||£6.15||£4.35||£3.90|
The main change is that employers cannot include shift premiums, tips or gratitude and salary premiums such as a London weighting.
Whilst we are sure recent events are currently taking priority right now, when things settle down, this would be an idea opportunity to give your contracts a MOT.
First undertake an audit to see if you have any staff members who could be deemed workers. Consider if you need to create new contracts for workers for those engaged after 6th April 2020. Review your current employment contracts to see what changes need to be made. Once the contracts are amended, provide them to staff, confirming the new contracts are being issued to ensure compliance with employment law.
If you would like assistance with drafting new contracts or amending your existing contracts please contract us on 0207 388 1658 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Pearce, Senior Solicitor
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written which may affect the information and advice given therein.