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We are living in a time which will go down in history. Individuals, families and businesses are being forced to rethink their plans for the next few months. Children are at home after their normal routine has been taken away from them.
We are all on a different path to the one we had imagined for 2020, but there is comfort in maintaining some normality and taking steps to make sure we are in a strong position when the coronavirus crisis is over.
During the next few months please do not hesitate to contact us; we will do everything we can to support you. But in the meantime, here is our regular HR News Roundup to keep you up to date with what you need to know right now with a focus on the changes this month (April).
The government announced on the 17 March that the changes to the off-payroll rules for the private sector are to be delayed until 6 April 2021.
The information contained in our previous blog will be on hold for a year. We’ll remind you of these changes nearer the time.
Immediate sick pay changes
If an employee is absent due to the coronavirus and self-isolating, they will be able to get Statutory Sick Pay from the first day. This change in policy came into force on the 13 March.
Here is a useful link to the government’s website so you can check on the current eligibility rules and exceptions.
Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay
This new ruling is to come into effect on 6 April 2020. Employed parents will be entitled to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. The government has confirmed that parents will also be able to claim pay for this period subject to them meeting the eligibility criteria.
From 6 April agency staff, after 12 weeks, will be entitled to the same rate of pay as those on permanent contracts carrying out the same role. In addition, all agency staff will have the right to a Key Information Document which clearly states their employment relationship and their terms and conditions. To further protect them, they will be able to assert their rights associated with The Agency Worker Regulations, for example in cases of unfair dismissal.
April’s Statutory Rate Changes
On 1 April changes will be made to the National Living Wage as follows:
On 5 April* the statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay will rise from £148.68 to £151.20 per week (or 90% of their average weekly earning if lower than the statutory rate).
On 6 April* Statutory Sick Pay will rise from £94.25 to £95.85 per week.
*Please note that employees must earn at least the lower earnings limit (currently £118 per week) to be eligible for these statutory payments. This limit may change in the next tax year, we’ll keep you informed when we learn more about this.
On 6 April the maximum amount of a week’s pay used to calculate statutory redundancy payments will increase to £538.
Other changes to note for 6 April
Make sure you are also aware of the following changes:
Written statements of terms and conditions
From 6 April employers must provide a written statement of terms of employment to an employee or worker on or before their first day. This rule includes casual and zero hours workers (was previously required within 2 months of the start date and excluded workers).
Please head to a previous blog titled, ‘Contracts of Employment’ which provides more detail on what is to be included in the statement.
If you have concerns over this change and require further information, please do get in touch as there are financial consequences if employers fail to action this. We will be providing an exercise with all our existing clients to make sure they are aligned with these new requirements and remaining compliant.
You’d be forgiven to forget about Brexit in light of recent events, but organisations cannot afford to keep their eye off the ‘Brexit ball’.
We’re Here To Help
If you require any HR support during this challenging time, please get in touch with our team of HR professionals currently via email at email@example.com
We’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our HR Advice Line service, if this is something you think you’d benefit from let us know.
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