All Change with Employment Law

One of the problems with employment law is that it is always changing. We are set for more changes following the recent publication of the Governments ‘Good Work Plan‘, which follows the review last year of employment law by Matthew Taylor (the Taylor Report).

Many of the changes will come into force on 6th April 2020 (for others we are still awaiting dates). This may seem a long time off, but it is really only round the corner, so it is important to start planning now.

The changes include:

Written Statement of Employment (often contained in the Contract of Employment)

This change will require employers to issue the written statement of employment (normally part of the contract of employment) on the first day of work, rather than within two months.

It will also extend the right to a written statement to workers.

Comment: Practical HR have always recommended that the contract of employment (that would include the written statement) is issued before employment begins or at the very latest on the first day of employment.

If you do not currently do this, then you will need to review your procedures to ensure you have robust procedures in place to make sure you comply with this.  

If you have ‘workers’, this would be a good time to make sure you have written agreements in place and if you do not, please contact us.

This could mean an increase in your administration, especially for those who have short term seasonal staff or casual workers.

Practical HR can provide support with the drafting of documentation and the issuing of documents to new employees. It may also be a good time to consider, which can provide considerable assistance with HR administration.

If you have other ‘self-employed’ individuals this would also be a good time to review their status (please also see below under Employment Status).

Holiday Calculations

A further change to come is around the calculation of a week’s pay for holiday pay purposes, where an employee or worker has variable pay. Currently holiday pay is based on the average pay for the 12 weeks before the holiday. This reference period will move to 52 weeks (i.e. their average pay for the year).

Comment: If you do not take regular overtime or other regular payments into consideration with your holiday pay, you need to review this as the law is now quite clear that holiday pay should be based on an employee’s actual earnings taking other regular payments into consideration.

If you currently pay an average of 12 weeks, you need to review your processes and adjust this for 52 weeks.

This will mean a change to your contracts of employment if you have any employees who have variable pay.

Swedish Derogation – Agency Workers

It is intended that Swedish Derogation will be abolished, which gives employers the ability to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances.

Other Changes – dates to be confirmed

The other proposals include:

Working Hours 

There will be a new right to request a fixed working pattern for those who do not have one after working 26 weeks on a non-fixed pattern. This could affect many people on zero hour’s contracts.

Continuity of Employment

Currently continuity of employment can be broken by a break of one week. The proposal is for this period to be extended to four weeks.

Employment Status

The report recommends changes to legislation to streamline the employment status tests, so they are the same for employment and tax purposes. This will also help avoid employers misclassifying employees/workers as self-employed.

It is proposed that the new test will focus more on ‘control’ i.e. how much control the company has over how the individual performs their role.

Final comment: we will keep you informed about implementation dates and details around the above changes.

To be ready for these changes, you should review your current HR procedures to ensure they will support these changes.  

If you would like assistance with any of the above, please contact us on 01702 216573.

Paula Fisher.

You can contact Paula on

If you feel that you need guidance or advice on this matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email Paula on the above.