• The coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing issue around the world and in the UK, and has caused huge disruption to businesses. However, it is still important that employers are aware of a number of changes that have come into effect today, 6 April.

    We will go through some of the changes, including those that have been delayed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, as well as highlight the key changes that have still gone ahead to equip our clients with the necessary information to ensure they comply with these developments.

    Delayed changes

    • IR35 – Tax rules extending to private-sector employers regarding the reduction in tax avoidance have now been postponed until 6 April 2021.

    Additional information

    Gender pay gap reporting was enforced in April 2017 and the third report since then is due in April 2020, however due to the ongoing pandemic, the Government has chosen to suspend the enforcement of the deadline this year, however businesses who still have the ability to submit their information are encouraged by the CIPD to do so.

    Changes going ahead today, 6 April 2020

    • Holiday pay – the reference period for calculating holiday pay for workers is being extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
    • Parental bereavement leave – parents who have suffered a bereavement of a child on or after 6 April 2020 will have the right to take up to two weeks parental bereavement leave, pay is at the statutory minimum rate. Many employers are choosing to update existing leave policies or to implement a new policy covering the new rules. Please contact us if you would like to discuss updating your existing policies or a template policy.
    • Written statements of employment – employers are required to provide new recruits with a written statement of terms and conditions before, or on their first working day, this includes casual or zero hours workers.
    • Agency workers – the ‘Swedish derogation’, power for employers to pay agency workers less than their own workers will be extinguished from 6 April 2020.

    Why not have a look at our detailed guidance on preparing for the changes?

    Changes in legislation due to coronavirus

    There have been multiple developments since the coronavirus epidemic hit UK. Here is a brief update on recent legislation that has come into force or will be coming into force in the coming weeks:

    • s37 and s38 Coronavirus Bill 2020 enables employers to recover up to 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from HMRC for an employee who has taken sick leave due to the coronavirus and also enables employees to claim SSP from day one of being on sick leave rather than day four, this legislation is in force and works retrospectively for employees who have been unable to work since 13 March 2020.
    • Working Time Regulations 1988 will be amended to allow workers to carry over up to four weeks of annual leave into the next two leave years where it is not reasonably practicable for a worker to take this annual leave due to the coronavirus, this amendment has not yet been published.

    If you require further guidance or advice on the above or general employment-related issues, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Brachers’ Employment team.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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    Take a look at our Employment & HR page for useful information, resources, guidance, details of our team and how we may be able to help you

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