Below is a list of upcoming employment law changes. In addition to the below there will be changes as a result of case law. Below you will find highlights of employment law changes from the previous year.
Date2021 Planned and expected Changes
|1 January 2021||
New Immigration Laws – a new points-based immigration system came into force, meaning individuals arriving from the EEA states are now subject to the same visa requirements as those arriving from non-EEA states.
|1st April 2021||New National Minimum Wage – See NMW|
|6 April 2021||
Extension of IR35 to the Private Sector – Where Personal Services Companies are performing similar roles to employees, they should be taxed at source. The responsibility for decided if a contractor should fall within IR35 moves to the employer and they also become liable for deducting the right amount of tax and NICs. Many private companies have therefore made policy decisions that all Personal Services Companies will be taxed at source.
The new rules apply to organisations who have 2 or more of the following: More than 50 employees, an annual turnover or £10.2 million, a balance sheet worth over £5.1 million
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – the government announced March that the scheme would be extended to the end of September 2021. Employers will be required to contribute from July 2021. See Furlough Scheme for more details. Employers should consider carefully the impact the closure of the scheme (when it comes to an end) will have on their business and plan ahead.
|1st July 2021
EU Settlement Scheme & Right to Work in the UK checks - Until 30 June 2021, when conducting right to work checks in respect of EU, EEA or Swiss nationals, employers must ensure they obtain the individual’s passport or national identity card, or if the individual has been granted permission under the EU Settlement Scheme, they can share evidence of right to work using an online service. From 1 July 2021 onwards, the individual must either provide proof of permission under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if they arrived in the UK on or after 1 January 2021, they must provide a visa and any other necessary ID documentation. The government will shortly publish its new right to work guidance, which will apply from 1 July 2021 onwards.
EXPECTEDNo Date Confirmed
Right to request a ‘stable’ contract - the government has committed to introducing a right for all employees and workers to request a more stable working pattern (subject to having acquired at least 26 weeks’ service).
Break in continuous service - presently, a gap of just one week can break an individual’s continuity of service. Therefore, despite regularly working on and off for the same employer over a long period of time, an individual may not build up any significant length of service.
It is proposed that this break period will be extended from one week to four weeks’.
Tips and gratuities - rules were implemented to ensure that tips are passed directly to the individual, and employers are banned from taking “administrative fees” from tips and gratuities.
Extending pregnancy protection from redundancy – an employee at risk of redundancy while on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave has the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy that is available. The government are proposing to extend this protection, prohibiting redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave and for six months after (except in specified circumstances).
Neonatal leave and pay - The government intends to implement a new right for parents to take an additional week of leave for every week their baby is in neonatal care, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. It is likely that the leave will have to be taken in a continuous block of one or more weeks.
The leave will be added on to the end of the parent’s period of maternity or paternity leave and will be available to all employees. Those with a minimum qualifying period of 26 weeks’ service and who earn above the minimum pay threshold will be entitled to receive pay for the neonatal leave period at the current statutory rate.
There is currently no confirmed date for this new right to be implemented, although it is unlikely that it will be implemented before the end of 2021.
2020 High Lights
|1 April 2020||
Carry over annual leave – due to the anticipated pressure on business from the impact of COVID-19, the government have amended the Working Time Regulations, to allow employees to carry over 4 working weeks holiday into the next two years, where it is not reasonably practicable for them to take some, or all, of the holiday they are entitled to due to coronavirus. Please note this only deals with the four weeks' leave and the balance of 1.6 weeks' statutory leave will not be affected.
|6 April 2020||
Swedish Derogation - which allowed agencies to opt out of equalising the pay of agency staff with the permanent workforce when they have been with the same employer for more than 12 weeks, was abolished.
Average week’s pay – the reference period for determining an average week’s pay was increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This reform is intended to improve the holiday pay for seasonal workers, who tend to lose out over the way it is currently calculated.
Statement of written particulars – as of 1st April 2020 the written statement must be provided by day 1 of employment. The right to a written statement of particulars was also extended to include workers as well as employees. See the guidance on the Written Statement of Terms for full details of what information must be provided.
Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) was introduced that gave all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks' leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employed parents with 26 weeks or more service are also be able to claim statutory pay for this period, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria of £151.20 per week.