Changes to employment laws that you may have missed

There are a few changes to employment laws that were introduced in April and that you may have missed.

Statement of Employment particulars

Employers must provide all those classed as “employees” or “workers”, who started work on or after 6th April 2020, with what is known as a “statement of employment particulars” which sets out the basic terms and conditions of their job. This includes casual and zero-hours workers. Prior to 6th April 2020 only those classed as “employees” were entitled to a statement of particulars. The government has also introduced new rules for agency workers (see below)

The statement of employment particulars is broken down into parts. Firstly, the “principal statement” which sets out the main terms and conditions of your job. This will include, details about your hours of work, job title and job description, details concerning obligatory training, the nature of your contract and when temporary contracts will end. The “principle statement” must be set out within a single document, for example, the letter you receive offering a job. You should receive a document containing your principal statement, on or before, the first day of your employment,

As well as the “principal statement” you should also receive, on or before, the first day of your employment, information about sick pay, other paid leave, such as maternity leave and details about your notice periods.

Your employer can choose whether to include this information in the principal statement or provide it in a separate document, such as a staff handbook. If they provide it in a separate document, this must be something that you have reasonable access to, such as on the internet.

The second part of your employment particulars is known as the wider written statement. Which should be given to you within 2 months of the start of employment. In this section, your employer must provide you with information regarding pension schemes, any collective agreements, rights to non-compulsory training and disciplinary and grievance procedures

This information can be contained in a single document such as a staff handbook or in several documents. However, all the documents should be easy to access. More information can be found here.

Agency workers

Previously, agency workers have been entitled to the same rates of pay as permanent employees after 12 weeks. The exception is for those working under the “Swedish Derogation” under which they receive a minimum rate of pay when they are between assignments. This right has now been abolished and all agency workers whose existing contracts contain a “Swedish Derogation” provision should have been issued with a written statement to confirm this change before the end of April.

The government has also introduced new obligations for recruitment agencies to provide agency workers with a Key Information Document (KID) containing essential information about their contract, rates of pay and pay arrangements before they are placed in an assignment. Agency workers who are considered to be employees will also be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment if the reasons are related to asserting their rights under the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR). More information can be found here.

Holiday Pay Reference Period

Currently, the holiday pay of a worker who has irregular working hours is calculated by using an average of the hours they have worked over the preceding 12 weeks (‘the pay reference period’). From 6th April, the new regulations change the pay reference period to 52 weeks (or the total number of completed weeks worked for those who have worked less than 52 weeks). The aim is to stop workers missing out on holiday pay due to seasonal fluctuations.
More information can be found here.

For more information or if you are having problems at work contact SolFed for help and support.