Employment Contracts – will yours be compliant post April 2020?
In a previous blog, entitled: Updating your contracts of employment – are you ready for the April 2020 changes? our Employment Partner, Matt Jenkin talked about changes that are coming into force from 6 April 2020 that will impact on employment contracts.
Talking to employers, it is evident there are a still a large number that have not started work to deal with these changes.
That lack of action may be down to the perception that the changes are only very “technical” in nature and as the organisation already has a detailed contract of employment in place, it will not be impacted by these changes. However, that view may be misplaced when you consider the changes in more detail.
From our perspective, the key issue is that from 6 April 2020, the amount of information that needs to be included in the basic terms of employment (which is often referred to as the “Section 1 Statement”) is increasing. Now for the vast majority of employers that section 1 statement is incorporated into their employment contract. This means that the amount of information that will need to be included in the contract of employment will increase and employers will need to review and amend their employment contracts to account for this change.
The impact can be best illustrated by looking at some of the additional information that needs to be included. If we take probationary periods for example. Under the new rules, the statement must contain details of the particulars of any probationary period including any conditions and its duration. If there is no probationary period, then that fact must also be stated in the agreement. As such employers who operate probationary periods will need to make sure that this is covered adequately in their contracts and for those employers that don’t use these periods, they will need to make that point clear.
Another example of the impact of the changes is the new requirement to set out details of any paid leave (other than holiday and sick leave) which the employee is entitled to take. Even if employers only provide for statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, bereavement leave pay etc, that will need to be set out in the contract. My experience is that most employment contracts don’t include this level of detail.
As such, even if you are an employer that thinks that your employment contracts are in good shape, you should be undertaking a review of you contracts of employment and making changes to ensure compliance post 6 April 2020.
If you need any further information on the changes or a review of your employment contracts to check for post 6 April 2020 compliance, please contact Matt Jenkin.