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Changes in Terms and Conditions of Employment

Changes in Terms and Conditions of Employment

Important changes are being introduced to employment law from 6 April 2020, bringing in improved rights for both permanent employees and temporary workers.

Following the Good Work report published by Matthew Taylor in July 2017, employers will have more stringent obligations towards the people they employ, with workers employed under contracts for services particularly set to benefit. This includes many of the 4.7 million people employed in the so-called ‘gig economy’.

If you work for a company or companies under a contract for services, it is especially important for you to understand these changes and what they mean for your employment rights.

The right to a ‘written statement of particulars of employment’
Currently, under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), employers only need to provide a written statement of particulars to ‘employees’ working for them for more than a month – this means workers employed under a contract for services do not normally qualify. Employers currently have up to 2 months from the start of the employee’s employment to provide this.

Under current rules, the written statement of particulars must include:

  • the scale or rate of remuneration or the method of calculating remuneration
  • whether remuneration is paid weekly, monthly or other specified intervals
  • normal hours of work
  • entitlement to holidays (including public holidays) and holiday pay (including any entitlement to accrued holiday pay on the termination of employment and how it is calculated)
  • incapacity for work due to sickness or injury and any provision for sick pay
  • pensions and pension schemes
  • length of notice which the employee and the employer must give to terminate employment
  • job title or a brief description of the work being performed
  • where the employment is not intended to be permanent, the period for which it is expected to continue or, if it is for a fixed term, the date when it is to end
  • either the place of work or, where required or permitted to work at various places, an indication of that and of the address
  • any collective agreements affecting employment
  • where the individual is required to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month, the period to work outside the UK, the currency in which remuneration is to be paid while working outside the UK, any additional remuneration and benefits for working outside the UK, and any terms and conditions relating to the return to the UK.

From 6 April 2020, both employees and workers will be entitled to a written statement of particulars of employment on the first day of their employment. Employers will also need to provide additional information in the written statement of particulars and must include:

  • in relation to hours of work, particulars of the days of the week the individual is required to work and whether or not such hours or days may be variable and, if they may be, how they vary or how that variation is to be determined
  • any terms and conditions relating to any paid leave (other than holiday or sick leave)
  • any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement
  • details of any probationary period, including conditions applicable to it and its duration
  • details of any training entitlement provided by the employer
  • any part of that training entitlement which is compulsory
  • particulars of any other compulsory training which the employer will not pay for.

Calculating holiday pay
Just like permanent employees, temporary workers are entitled to paid annual leave. However, because the hours worked by temporary workers tend to vary, calculating how much holiday they are entitled to can be complicated.

Under current rules, a temporary worker’s holiday entitlement will be calculated with reference to the previous 12-week period they have worked for an employer. So, if they have worked fewer hours than normal in the last 12-weeks, they could lose out.

Under the changes being introduced from 6 April 2020, the reference period used to calculate temporary workers’ holiday pay will increase from 12 weeks 52 weeks. This means a worker’s holiday entitlement will be based on the total hours they worked over the previous year, which is intended to provide a fairer reflection of their normal working hours.

Making it easier for temporary workers to qualify for employee rights
To qualify for many employment rights, such as protection from unfair dismissal, you need to have worked continuously for the same employer for a minimum of 2 years.

Under the current rules, if you take a break from working for an employer for a week or more, this will end your period of continuous employment by them. So, if you work for someone for 6 months, then take a 1-week break, then go back to work for them again, that first 6 months will no longer count towards total your period of continuous employment.

From 6 April 2020, however, the period of not working for an employer required to break continuity of employment will increase from 1 week to 4 weeks. This will make it easier for temporary workers to accrue the 2-year qualifying period of continuous service needed to benefit from rights such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed under section 94 of the ERA and the right to a statutory redundancy payment under section 135 of the ERA.

Get expert advice on your employment rights

For clear, expert advice on terms and conditions of employment or any other aspect of employment law, please contact us by emailing employment4you@ibblaw.co.uk