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Changes to Employment Contracts – 6 April 2020

April 2020 is set to be an important month for employers and employees alike.  The Government has announced its plans to implement new statutory employment law, stemming from the ‘Good Work Plan’, published in 2018.  It’s important for employers to be aware of what these changes will be and how they’ll take effect.

There are three important changes that are to come into effect on 6 April 2020.

  1. All workers employed on or after 6 April 2020 shall be entitled to a written statement of employment particulars.  Currently, only employees are afforded this right.
  2. Both employees and workers must be provided with their written statement of particulars on or before their first day of employment.  Currently, employers have 2 months from the commencement of the employment to provide the employee with the written statement of particulars.
  3. Critically, employers will also be required to expressly state additional information in the written statements (which are typically contained within contracts of employment).  This additional information is as follows:
  • The precise hours and days of the week that the worker/employee is required to work.  If these hours/days can be varied, the employer must state this and explain how they may be varied.
  • Entitlements to any paid leave/benefit (including for example; Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental, Adoption, Compassionate, Parental Bereavement leave and pay as well as any private health care).  It is our understanding that this obligation does not require the employer to go into the detail of this leave and pay and that the statement/contract can simply say where the detail can be found (e.g. the relevant policy in the Staff Handbook). 
  • Details of any probationary period – including length, whether it may be extended and when the employee shall be informed of its successful completion. 
  • Details of any training provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker.  If no training is provided, then this must also be stated in the contract.  However, if training is provided, the contract must include:
    • Any training from the employer to which the employee is entitled;
    • Any part of the training entitlement which the employer requires the employee to complete; and
    • Any other training which the employer requires the employee to complete and which the employer will not pay for.

Our understanding is that the above changes to contracts of employment are not retrospective and shall only be required to be implemented in relation to workers/employees commencing work from 6 April 2020.  Therefore, new contracts are not required for staff taken on prior to 6 April 2020.  However, employers have an obligation to provide existing employees/workers with an updated contract should this be requested. 

The Government is still to release further guidance on how employers can implement the above changes to contracts of employment.  However, in the meantime, if you have any questions about how the April changes will apply to your company, please do not hesitate to get in touch by contacting Katie Pearson or Hannah Roche on 0845 345 5004 or email info@holistic-hr.co.uk.

Please note that Holistic HR clients can now find updated employment contracts and directors service agreements on the Holistic HR Portal.  If you would like to find out more about MBM Commercial’s Holistic HR service, please follow this link: https://mbmcommercial.co.uk/holistic-hr-services.html

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