Ah, April ! Known for beautiful spring weather, the start of warmer weather, and right about the time when the Easter bunny will make an appearance! It’s also a big month for HR news but as ever we’ve kept things nice and simple for you and only included the bits you NEED to know, in “byte” size chucks !
The Quickfire round – changes coming in from April 1st (no not a joke !).
Remember statutory rates (family, NLW, NMW, SSP) will increase from April 1st – link here.
Action point: carry out a check as any employee’s on statutory family leave may be due a rate increase. The same for anyone on sickness leave. Also, worth checking that any employees who have turned 23 are on the higher NLW.
Additional bank holiday (8th May) for the Kings coronation. We’ve mentioned this before but just make sure you communicate your plan with employees in good time so that they know what is expected of them. in terms of time off and contractual bank holiday entitlements.
Forewarned is forearmed !
On the horizon….things you may want to be aware of:
There are currently a number of Private Members Bills being backed by parliament at the moment, which we could see come into law in the not-too-distant future. Although we don’t have firm dates for when the law could change, a little bit of thought on who this might affect in your teams and what you would need to think about is always a good thing, right ?! Some of these include:
- Carers Leave this will be a day one right for employees which will entitle them to one week’s unpaid leave a year to care for a dependant with a long-term care need which is:
- likely to last more than three months
- is a disability under the Equality Act 2010
- Connected to old age.
What do you need to do now? Think about your current workforce and who this could potentially effect, and what provisions you have within your current policies that may need updating or amending.
2. Workers predictable terms and conditions Bill. This will give workers on zero hours contracts, the right to request a predicted work pattern. Controversial? … No. Interesting in terms of potential changes needed for employers – YES !
What do you need to do now? This could have real consequences for employers who use these types of contracts to manage infrequent working patterns due to client demands. Revisit who and what, you use them for a the moment. You may want to think about using rota systems, or it maybe as simple as identifying standard working patterns. Drop us an email if you have any questions around this.
3. Exclusivity clauses and second jobs In December the law changed banning exclusivity clauses in contracts for those not only on zero hours contracts but also for employees who are on the lower earnings limit (currently at £123 per week). This means you can’t use standard exclusivity clauses to limit staff working in other businesses nor stop certain employees from working for someone else, some Part time employees do have the freedom to be able to take on a second job to maybe support their income and/or develop their skills.
At Rowan Consulting, we are increasingly seeing some employees of clients making requests for second jobs, in order to meet the cost if living rises, so here’s some quick considerations:
- The employee still needs to inform you of their second job (usually shown in your contract of employment.)
- If the second job will take them over the WTR threshold (48 hours per week) then you will need to make them aware of this from a H&S point of view and maybe ask them to sign an opt-out waiver (check out our Rowan DOC library for useful templates. )
- Have regular check ins with any employees who have second jobs.
We all know we are living in very challenging times, in particular with the cost of living. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or need some support with this.
We plan to discuss the topics above (and the ones listed below) in our upcoming Legal Update ShedTalk on 16th May. If you’d like to join us or would like to receive a recording then please register here
- Neonatal Care (leave and pay)
- Allocation of tips
- Protection against redundancy (pregnancy & family leave)
- Fire & rehire – potential changes to the process
For anyone that missed our last ShedTalk on part year workers and the pending changes to holiday pay please have a look here for lots of answers to your questions.
*ENHANCEDHR clients – we will be in touch with you to update your policies as soon as these changes come into effect.
WE’LL SEE YOU AGAIN IN JUNE ! In the meantime, wishing you a lovely Easter !