July 13, 2024

Employers brace themselves for widespread rule changes in the coming weeks

EMPLOYERS and contractors will be showered with legislative demands this April.

As well as increases to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, new holiday pay entitlement for variable employment will hit the private sector this April.

Add to that parental bereavement leave, and even rights ‘to a statement of particulars’ for staff on their first day, then April 6 will mark a watershed moment for business and industry, even with the delay to IR35 (off-payroll) working laws due to the Coronavirus pandemic and pressures on the economy.

Sarah Ellwood, Managing Director of North Wales-based Supertemps and its executive, IT and engineering arm S2 Recruitment, said the set of new and updated rules will, once again, change the UK employment landscape.

“A lot of businesses are frustrated by so many changes to legislation in such a short space of time, so we are working with them to ensure everything is in place, especially with regards the increase in wages,” said Sarah.

“Our recent Employment Law Update seminars have been fully subscribed – proof that employers large and small across the region are keen to have the facts within their grasp ahead of April 6.

“For companies some are viewing the changes as detrimental but for employees there are added benefits including a higher minimum wage and bereavement benefits, so there are positives and negatives.”

The Wage changes are:

National Living Wage – For ages 25 and above – up 6.2% to £8.72

National Minimum Wage – For 21 to 24 year olds – up 6.5% to £8.20 / For 18 to 20 year olds – up to £6.45 / For Under 18s – up to £4.55 / Apprentices – up to £4.15

New employees’ rights on their first day – In short, businesses will need to be better prepared when welcoming new recruits.  Currently the law requires a written statement of particulars to be given to a new employee within two months of the start of employment and only if the contract is to last for one month or more. From April 6 this Statement must be given on or before day one of employment. The ‘statement of particulars’ must be a single document and should include hours of work, any paid leave, employee benefits, details of their probationary period and training entitlement, among other information.

Calculation of holiday pay for variable workers – Amendments to Working Time Regulations will see the holiday reference period used to calculate holiday pay for variable workers increase from 12 to 52 weeks (for employees that have been in your employment for more than a year). Therefore, to calculate the holiday pay for an employee on variable hours or pay, companies will need to work out the average hours worked and average pay from the previous 52 weeks.

Parental bereavement leave – While there is no current law relating to parental bereavement in particular, most employees have a statutory right to a ‘reasonable’ period of unpaid time off to deal with unforeseen matters or emergency situations that involve a dependent. This additional legislation entitles parents up to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy as a day one right.

IR35 – changes to off-payroll working were to be brought in on April 6 but have now been delayed for at least 12 months due to pressures on the economy and employers following the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Responding to the rule changes, Sarah said: “There is a lot more detail behind these updated laws, but ultimately it will involve more stringent processes and rules for new and existing workers.

“We are encouraging businesses to be prepared and have the right support in place ahead of April, not just for legislative reasons but also for the health and wellbeing of their workforces.

“There are a lot of challenges and questions, so if anyone does need our help please give Supertemps and S2 Recruitment a call and we’ll be able to help or signpost you to someone who can.”

Contact them on 01248 671477 or 01492 517602. Alternatively, visit www.supertemps.co.uk.

For more on S2 Recruitment, visit the website www.s2recruitment.co.uk or call 03333 234 371.