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30 March 2020

230: And finally a look forward to what’s happening in employment news for April 2020

This article was written by Paulette White, Paralegal
E paulettewhite@bdbpitmans.com T +44 (0)118 957 0443 Location Reading

The national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) rates will increase from 1 April 2020. The NLW for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour. The NMW will increase from £7.70 to £8.20 per hour for 21 to 24 year olds; from £6.15 to £6.45 per hour for 18 to 20 year olds; and from £4.35 to £4.55 per hour for 16 and 17 year olds. The apprentice rate for those under the age of 19, or in the first year of an apprenticeship, will increase from £3.90 to £4.15 per hour. The accommodation offset will also increase from £7.55 to £8.20 per day.

The Government has announced the proposed statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and statutory sick pay from April 2020. Statutory maternity pay and maternity allowance will increase to £151.20 per week (from £148.68). Statutory paternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay will also increase to £151.20 (from £148.68). The weekly rate of statutory sick pay will increase to £95.85 (from £94.25). These increases usually take effect on the first Sunday in April, which is 5 April 2020.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has amended its ‘General Data Protection Regulation: Right of access’ guidance on the timescales for complying with a data subject access request (DSAR) in circumstances where the controller asks for clarification from the data subject. The previous guidance published in April 2018 stated that the start of the one- month time period for compliance with the DSAR would be paused until the data controller had received the information requested. This is no longer the case. The guidance now states that the timescale for responding to the DSAR is not affected by any request by the data controller for further information or clarification. The data controller must therefore still respond to the DSAR within one month. However, the time limit may still be extended by two months if the DSAR is complex or the individual has made a number of requests.

The draft Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations have been laid before Parliament and are due to take effect from 6 April 2020. These regulations will implement the new statutory day-one right for bereaved parents who are employees to take up to two weeks’ leave in the 56 weeks following the death of a child under 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The leave can be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of one week. Employees with at least 26 weeks’ service and weekly average earnings over the lower earnings limit will also qualify for statutory parental bereavement pay. This will be paid at the rate of £151.20 or 90% of average weekly earnings if lower. The new regulations also give employees the right not to be subjected to detriment or dismissal because they have sought to take or have taken parental bereavement leave.

On 7 February 2020, HMRC issued draft guidance relating to the proposed new IR35 tax regime in the form of updated sections of its Employment Status Manual. This confirms an amendment which means that the new rules will now only apply to services provided by personal service companies on or after 6 April 2020. Despite an ongoing implementation review of the forthcoming changes by the Treasury, it appears that they will still come into effect on 6 April 2020. This means that medium and large private sector employer must ensure that they have systems in place now to determine whether the new off-payroll working rules will apply.

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