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It's Not All Covid-19 - An Employer's Snapshot

View profile for Catherine Almeida
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Employers and employees are understandably preoccupied with the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic. As well as unprecedented changes that this pandemic has brought about, there are other key changes that have either taken place or are about to happen that employers need to be aware of.

In light of this, Catherine Almeida an Employment Solicitor at JCP Solicitors has put together the following  snapshot:

Recent changes

There is a new statutory right for some employees to take an unpaid leave of absence to volunteer in either Health or Social care for ether two, three or four weeks within 16 weeks of 25 March 2020 subject to rules on the notification and the presentation of an Emergency volunteering Certificate. An employee who volunteers has the right to return to their employment at the end of the volunteering period on no less favourable conditions. The employee is also protected from detriments and dismissal for taking emergency volunteering leave (Coronavirus Act 2020-Schedule 7).

Under regulation 13 and 13A of the Working Time Regulations, 1998 workers are entitled to a combined total of 5.6 weeks annual leave per year. The 4 weeks leave provided for under regulation 13 cannot be carried over into the next leave year. However, the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 amend regulation 13 where it now states where it is not reasonably practicable for the worker to take some or all of their 4 weeks annual leave entitlement as a result of the effects of the Coronavirus they are allowed to carry over 4 weeks into the next two leave years.

The National Minimum wages and National Living Wages increased from 1 April 2020. The rates can be found here.

Changes From 6 April 2020

  • An employer’s duty to provide written particulars of employment is being amended. Employers will be required to provide those they employ with ‘worker’ status as well as to employees by day one of employment. The information that must be contained within the written statement of particulars has also be extended and it must now include details of the full benefit and remuneration package.
  • Working parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will be entitled to two weeks paid bereavement leave.
  • The reference period for calculating statutory holiday pay (previously 12 weeks) is increasing to 52 weeks.
  • Employers NIC are payable on ‘termination payments’ to compensate employees for loss of employment for any ‘termination payment’ in excess of £30,000 for payment made after 6 April 2020.
  • The usual annual increase to statutory limits and payments will also take effect, they include increases to:
  1. Statutory Sick pay;
  2. The cap on a week’s pay for redundancy purposes;
  3. Statutory Maternity Pay

Our team offer experienced, expert support for the full range of employment and HR issues your business or organisation may have to deal with. This covers everything from day-to-day issues, such as creating contracts of employment and establishing policies and procedures, to handling specific challenges, such as furlough, redundancy and employment tribunal claims.

When it comes to employment issues, prevention is better than cure. We, therefore, take a proactive, preventative approach, aimed at getting measures in place for your organisation and your employees with the goal of avoiding the potential for future conflict wherever possible. Having such measures in place can also be vital to your defence if an employee ever does bring a claim.

Catherine Almeida is an Employment Solicitor, specialising in employee disputes, she has more than 10 years’ of experience in giving legal support to business and private clients and considerable experience of contentious employment law and employment tribunal proceedings. Catherine has hit the ground running at a busy time for employment lawyers. She is looking forward to working alongside JCP’s general business and outsourced HR clients.

For more information, you can contact Catherine on Catherine.Almeida@jcpsolicitors.co.uk or on 07398 630840 or contact one of our local offices below…

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671
  • Pontypridd: 01443 408455

To keep up to date with the latest news from JCP Solicitors, including COVID-19 developments relevant to you and your business, please sign up to our mailing list here.

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