Changes You May Have Missed in Employment Law

Posted on: May 6th, 2020

It’s safe to say that the last few weeks have been a whirlwind for HR professionals and anyone with responsibility for personnel. With all of the focus on furlough and the Job Retention Scheme, it may have slipped under the radar that changes to the right to receive a written statement of particulars of employment (i.e. the employment contract) came into effect on 6 April 2020.

In particular, the following significant changes are now in force:

  • The right to receive a written statement of terms of engagement will be extended to workers (for example, staff on casual, seasonal or some types of zero hour contracts) as well as employees;
  • The written statement of terms must be given to employees and workers on (or before) the first day of employment;
  • The exclusion for employees in short-term employment for less than one month no longer applies – all workers have the right to receive written terms, irrespective of their length of employment; and
  • Additional prescribed information must now be included within the written statement.

By way of example, additional prescribed information includes:

  • details of all benefits the employee will receive (both contractual and non-contractual);
  • any terms and conditions relating to paid leave (other than holiday or sick leave); and
  • information on any training entitlement provided by the employer, including mandatory information about all compulsory training.

These changes coincided with the new right to parental bereavement leave which also came into force in April 2020. As this is a paid leave entitlement, this must also be referenced in an updated employment contract.

If you have not already done so, now may be a good time to make the necessary updates. Indeed, it is probably worth reviewing whether all the terms of your contract are generally fit for purpose in the new normal. Are they robust enough and do they offer sufficient flexibility?

Our employment team can assist you by undertaking a review of your current documents and advising you on the changes that need to be made. We can also share what trends we are seeing in the wider market in this regard.

Please do get in touch if we can help.