Additional requirements in relation to the written terms of employment staff are provided with will take effect on 6 April 2020. Most universities will include these terms in a contract of employment.
The main points to note are that:
- the days of the week the individual is required to work (if these are variable how they will be determined?)
- any paid leave to which the worker is entitled
- details of any benefits provided by the employer
- any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration
- any training entitlement provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker
From 6 April 2020, a new statutory right will be introduced allowing for two weeks' leave for parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy. This will be paid at a flat statutory rate (the same rate as statutory paternity pay) for employees with 26 weeks' service (and qualifying earnings). Although your university may already provide similar support to employees, you should ensure that a consistent approach is taken with regards to how this ties in with existing policies you have in place, such as family-friendly leave, compassionate leave, and absence policies.
On 6 April 2020, the National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour, with corresponding increases to the National Minimum Wage for younger workers.
Although 6 April may fall outside of your university's usual pay review period, you must ensure that all workers paid below this rate has their pay reviewed to take effect on this date, to comply with the new increases.
Following on from the recommendations of Matthew Taylor and the Good Work Plan, the government is determined to deliver a plethora of employment law developments. The Queen's Speech in December also indicated a range of additional employment law protections that we may see in an Employment Bill 2020. We will review any additional developments which would have implications for the Higher Education sector and will keep you updated as more information becomes available.