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The good news (for workers)
The National Living Wage (payable to workers aged 25 and over) will increase to £8.72 on April 1st 2020. For younger workers the rates will be £8.20 (aged 21-24), £6.45 (aged 18-20) and £4.55 (under 18).

Details matter
Employees and workers who start work on or after April 6th 2020 will have a right to receive a statement of employment particulars before or on day one of their employment, rather than within the first two months. Employers who may not currently provide this detail to workers engaged for less than two months will need to review their practices. The detail that must be provided has also increased to include:

• The days of the week the worker is required to work, whether working hours may be variable and if so, how. 
• Any paid leave to which the worker is entitled. 
• Details of all pay and benefits. 
• Any probationary period and conditions associated with it. 
• Any training entitlement provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker. 

Workers already employed on April 6th can request a statement containing this additional information; employers have a month to respond.

Holiday pay calculation 
From April the reference period to determine an average week’s pay will be changed to 52 weeks from the current 12 weeks, and will apply to all 5.6 weeks of a workers’ minimum holiday entitlement. If employed for less than 52 weeks, holiday pay will be based on the number of complete weeks worked. As seasonal work can have fluctuating rates of pay, this new reference period could impact the calculation of holiday pay.  

Agency workers
From April 6th 2020, agency workers will not be able to opt out of the right to receive equal pay with the direct employees of an end client (currently available after working for that client for 12 weeks), and must be informed that the opt out no longer applies by the end of April. This presents clear cost implications for clients using longer-term agency workers.

Hiring EU workers in 2020 
After a politically turbulent 2019 and with the UK having left the EU on January 31st 2020, the status quo for EU citizens working in the UK in 2020 will be broadly maintained. However the position in relation to hiring EU nationals from 2021 is much less clear and we’re back to ‘watch this space’.

Abigail Maino is a Senior Associate in DMH Stallard’s Employment team. Contact her at Abigail.Maino@dmhstallard.com, or call 01483 467412.

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