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Gloucestershire Business News

Darren Sherborne of Sherbornes Solicitors on changes that are coming to workers rights in 2020

Regardless of the result in the General Election and of what happens with Brexit, changes to the way workers rights are governed are coming into force in the New Year.

Darren Sherborne, director at Sherbornes Solicitors looks at what you and your company need to do before when the recommendations of the Taylor Report are put into force in April 2020.

In 2018, before the Brexit hokey cokey got into full swing, the Taylor Report was published, highlighting how work within our society is changing.

The report made a number of recommendations, some of which are coming into force in a few months' time - regardless of whether we are in Europe or not.

What has not yet been enacted but remains under consideration, is further protection for those in the gig economy and other types of atypical worker.

April 2020 (just a few months away) will see the start of these changes coming into force.

Agency workers will gain extra protection from the abolishment of what is known as the Swedish Derogation.

This is not a subsidiary of IKEA, but is a loophole which allows agencies to avoid paying agency staff the same as permanent employees.

From April 2020, agencies will now need to match the pay of agency staff to permanent staff in a workplace, after they have been there 12 weeks.

This may well lead to an increase in the cost of using such staff.

Holiday pay for workers or employees where weekly hours vary is currently worked out on an average of 12 weeks' pay (that's how it should be done even if you didn't know it).

So, you add up total pay for the previous 12 weeks and divide that by 12, that is one week's holiday pay. As of April 2020, that 12-week period becomes 52 weeks.

This comes on top of a string of case law developments changing the way that holiday pay is calculated and making it compulsory for the employer to include overtime, whether voluntary or not, bonus and even sales commission, even though the person is not selling anything.

Where employers have been particularly slack at paying attention to this, the back pay awards can be crippling.

Contracts of employment, otherwise known as the written statement of terms, currently have to be given to employees within two months of starting work.

That period will reduce to zero, meaning that the statement must be given on day one, as of April 6, 2020.

The penalty for failing to do this is not too bad, it's one month's pay, but for the sake of printing a contract, it seems unnecessary to get caught out.

In addition, the obligation to provide a written statement of particulars is being extended as of the same date, to 'workers' as well as 'employees'.

This means that those staff who you think are self-employed, but whom you direct as if they were employed, will need to be given a statement.

For the record, because we know there remains some confusion about this, such staff have been entitled to (and are accruing) 28 days holiday a year, for the last few years, even if you haven't actually paid it to them.

More details about these changes has been posted on our website for your convenience  We will also be running a local training session to help you be clear on what you must or must not do.

For more information call Sherbornes Solicitors on 01242 250039 or visit www.sherborneslaw.co.uk .

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