Employment law factsheet 2020

Whilst businesses are busy organising their workforces during the current Covid-19, there are a number of changes effective from 6 April 2020 of which employers need to be aware.

Statutory rates of pay

As usual in April 2020, a number of statutory rates of pay have changed. These are as follows:-

  • Statutory Sick Pay has increased to £95.85 per week;
  • The prescribed rate for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay has increased to £161.20;
  • The cap on a week’s pay has increased to £538;
  • The maximum statutory redundancy award and basic award for unfair dismissal claims has increased to £16,140;
  • The statutory cap on compensatory awards in unfair dismissal cases (where the limit of 52 weeks’ gross pay does not apply) has increased to £88,519.

We have updated our employment factsheet with these new figures which is available for download on our website.


Compensation in discrimination cases

The Employment Tribunal has issued presidential guidance updating the Vento bands for injury to feelings payments in discrimination cases. These are now as follows:

  • Lower band – £900 to £9,000
  • Middle band – £9,000 to £27,000
  • Upper Band – £27,000 to £45,000

Compensation for injury to feelings will only exceed £45,000 in the most serious cases.

These new bands apply to any claims issued on or after 6 April 2020.

Parental bereavement leave and pay

Parents who suffer the loss of a child are now entitled to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave. There is no minimum length of service to be entitled to this leave. It may be taken in one block of two weeks or two separate blocks of one week each.

Employees with at least 26 weeks’ service, who meet the minimum weekly earnings criteria (currently £120), will also qualify for statutory parental bereavement pay. Parental Bereavement Pay is payable at the same rate as other statutory leave, which is currently £161.20.

Provision of a written statement of terms

All workers, as well as employees, are now entitled to a written statement of terms from day one of employment. This includes information relating to matters such as hours of work, rate of pay, pension, holiday and notice periods.

Calculating holiday pay

For those workers whose hours of work and wages fluctuate from week to week, the reference period for calculating the average weekly pay has increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

Termination payments

All termination payments over £30,000 will now be subject to employer’s National Insurance contributions. The first £30,000 of any termination payment remains free of tax and NICs, the change only applies to any sum exceeding £30,000.

Agency workers

Agency work-seekers are entitled to receive a Key Information Document prior to them signing any terms with the agency. The KID should include information such as the minimum expected rate of pay, deductions application to their wages, how they will be paid and who will pay them.