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New Year, New Changes for HR

Embrace HR regulation changes April 2020

Get ahead of the game and ensure you are aware of legislation changes coming in April 2020…

When it comes to keeping up with changes in HR law, we always look to April for new requirements – usually it’s things such as adjustments to the Living Wage and Minimum Wages, but in April 2020, keep an eye out for some slightly different amendments. Get on top of them once you are back at work after the Christmas break and you’ll be ahead of the game this spring!

Recording employees’ hours

First is a ruling by The European Court of Justice. This states that all employers must have established a system to record every hour that their employees are working.

The good news is that there is no ambiguity on this – whenever Brexit goes ahead, this ruling will still apply to UK organisations.

SMEs will be held accountable, just as much as larger organisations, so if you don’t have a suitable system in place, now is the time to look at it. You may need to implement some form of HR computing system to help – it can also enable you to keep up with holiday requests, performance reviews, communication and other HR requirements. Do contact us to find out more about our HR cloud software.

It’s something you don’t want to ignore – if your organisation doesn’t keep track of working hours and staff breaks, they could find themselves with a hefty fine or even facing a criminal conviction.

The new legislation was prompted by a case brought against Deutsche Bank by Spanish trade unions. The bank only recorded overtime hours, while the unions argued that the bank had a duty to record all hours worked.

The case went to the European Court of Justice, which supported the trade union’s claims. The legislation was passed while the UK was still a part of the EU, so the ruling will apply to UK companies.

Section 1 Statement

The other big change will apply to you if you are taking on new staff. It maintains that workers must have a written statement of main terms and conditions from the first day of their employment. What is required is a section 1 statement [legislation.gov.uk: Employment Rights Act 1996] (but with additional information), and this applies to both employees and workers.

The good news for those working in HR is that it still offers the chance to provide some information in instalments the following two months.

What has changed is that the law used to allow employers up to two months to provide all of this information, and that the law only applied to employees not workers.

However now, the section 1 statement will also need to include the following:

  • The working pattern and whether hours or days may be variable
  • What the employee is entitled to in terms of paid leave (to include maternity and paternity leave)
  • Details about the probationary period and its length
  • Whether there is any mandatory training offered by the employer

While this new law applies to new workers, do bear in mind that existing employees are also entitled to make a request for a section 1 statement that includes the new information. You must provide this within one month.

The new requirements stem from the government’s 2018 Good Work Plan, with the aim of increasing transparency between workers and employers and helping to enforce employment rights.

Should a company fail to comply, this could result in an employment tribunal claim from any staff affected.

What now?

Make sure that you conduct a review of your existing section 1 statement and ensure that by 6 April 2020 it includes the extra information listed above.

Also bear in mind that this could be the first in a long line of requirements requiring employers to make available information to workers, so that may be worth investigating sooner rather than later.

You might also like to read our blog entitled: The benefits of HR software.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

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Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.