Alongside Brexit and the change in the state of the parties at Westminster, 2020 is expected to see the implementation of several long-trailed changes to employment law.
These include the prohibition of so-call Swedish derogation contracts, the enactment of the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, changes to requirements in respect of contracts of employment, as well as a review of statutory maternity, paternity and sick pay rates.
Swedish derogation contracts will be prohibited from 6 April 2020, meaning that employers will no longer be able to pay agency workers less than equivalent directly employed workers after 12 weeks of employment.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act is expected to come into effect during April 2020. It will extend the right to time off work after the death of a child to primary carers, as well as parents. This will also include people who experience a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Meanwhile, contracts of employment are set to become a legal right for employees from 6 April, with contracts required to specify details of entitlement to family-friendly leave, probation periods and working times.
The review of statutory rates will apply to maternity pay, paternity pay and sick pay, while the reference period for calculating holiday pay for workers with irregular hours will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks and will have to take account of any overtime worked.