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Haines Watts Northampton Phone icon 01604 746760

There are some significant Employment Law Changes due to come into effect this April that you will need to be aware of to ensure your business is compliant and help you prepare for the year ahead.

The key changes are:


Brexit Workforce Planning

Now that Brexit has taken place, there will be a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which EEA nationals will still be able to come and work in the UK.

Employers must ensure that all their EEA workers obtain settled or pre-settled status, as well as prepare for the new immigration system that will be in place after the transition period.

We recommend you carry out an audit of your workforce to identify all foreign nationals and ensure relevant employees apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.


National Minimum Wage and other Statutory Payment Increases

The rates for the national minimum wage will increase on 1 April 2020, as follows:

25 & over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2019 (current rate) £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
April 2020 £8.72 £8.20 £6.45 £4.55  




The government has pledged that the national living wage rate will reach two-thirds of median earnings within five years. On current projections, this would be around £10.50 in 2024.

On the 5th April 2020 the rate for statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay will increase to £151.20, up from £148.68.

The rate for statutory sick pay is expected to increase on 6 April 2020. The proposed new rate is £95.85, up from £94.25.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

The right to parental bereavement leave and pay will come into force on the 1st April 2020. The right will allow parents of a child under the age of 18 who has died to take two weeks’ leave. It will be available to the birth parents or those with parental responsibility for the child and can be taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death, in a block of two weeks, or two blocks of one week.

Employees will be entitled to parental bereavement leave from day one of their employment, but there will be a qualifying period of 26 weeks for entitlement to parental bereavement pay.


Changes to Contracts of Employment

From 6 April 2020, employers must provide a written statement of employment particulars to all workers, not just to employees. You will no longer have two months within which to provide the statement – most of the information must be provided in a single document by the start of employment.

The information that must be provided in the statement will be expanded to include extra information on variable working hours, paid leave other than sick pay, benefits, probationary periods and training.


Calculating Holiday Pay for Workers with irregular hours

The reference period for calculating holiday pay for workers who do not work regular hours will increase from 12 to 52 weeks on 6 April 2020. This change is being introduced as part of the government’s Good Work Plan and should prevent workers missing out on holiday pay if they take their annual leave in the 12 weeks after a quiet period.

You will need to pay workers without normal hours their average weekly pay, calculated over the previous year, rather than the previous 12 weeks.


Review your Contracts for IR35

Reforms to the IR35 rules for off-payroll working are due to be extended to medium and large private-sector employers in April 2020. The new rules shift who is responsible for determining the status of a contractor for tax purposes and who is liable for deducting tax and national insurance.


For help with any of these issues, please contact Tina Sood in our People Services team who will be able to chat through your options and who can provide expert advice on any number of HR issues, including contracts, payroll, talent resourcing, outsourcing and project planning.  



Want to know more? Call us on 01604 746760 or email

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