Update on Changes to Employment Law from region’s Citizens Advice Service

The Westminster Government, who are responsible for Employment law, made what Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service (DAGCAS) consider to be some significant changes to employment law, effective from April 6.

Perhaps because of the Covid–19 pandemic, they have found that very few employers and employees are aware of those changes so have released details as follows:

“The changes are part of the Government’s Good Work Plan which was introduced in 2018.

“Good Work Plan – In 2018 the government produced a Good Work Plan which sets out various proposed changes in employment law intended to improve the rights of employees and workers. There are other changes for which there is no date set yet. These will include continuity of employment, tips and zero hours.

“Written terms and conditions of employment – Often referred to as a contract of employment. Previously an employer had 2 months from the start date to provide the new employee with a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment. As from 6 April 2020, all staff will be entitled to a written statement of their terms on or before the first day of employment.

“Contents of the employment statement – The statement must contain the following additional information about the terms and conditions of employment –

· Normal working hours including the times of the week when the employee/worker is required to work and whether these hours or days may be variable and if so how they may vary.

· Any benefits other than pay that the employee/worker is entitled to including non-monetary benefits. Examples of other non-monetary benefits would be vouchers or meals.

· Any probationary period including the duration and any associated conditions.

· Details of any other paid leave such as maternity leave and paternity leave.

· Any training to be provided by the employer and details of any mandatory training that the employee must complete.

· Employer’s existing staff who have statements prepared and issued before 6 April 2020 will be entitled to request a new version and the employer would then be required to provide this within one month of that request.

“DAGCAS is aware that many employers in the Dumfries and Galloway region have not, in the past, issued this important document to their employees. We would urge all employers to take this opportunity to comply with the legislation. We would advise all employees who do not have this statement to request one at the earliest opportunity. The statement provides equal protection to employer and employee.

“A week’s pay – The reference period for holiday pay purposes will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks (or the actual length of employment if less than 52 weeks). This will mean that staff whose hours vary greatly do not lose out financially if they take holidays at a quiet time of the year.”