24th December 2019

Legal Issues – Changes for 2020

As we come to the end of 2019, we look ahead to what changes can be expected for employment law in 2020.


We now know that the UK is currently scheduled to leave the EU on 31 January 2019. EU nationals already in the UK by that date will be able to apply to stay under the EU settlement scheme. The deadline for applying for the EU settlement scheme will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

In our Legal Issues update in December 2018 we discussed the Government’s Good Work Plan, which was a result of their response to the Taylor Review. The Government set out various changes they intended to make to employment law to make things fairer. A number of consultations have taken place and we now know that some of the changes suggested will come into force from 6 April 2020.

Holiday pay

Holiday pay calculations are due to change from 6 April 2020. Holiday pay for workers with variable hours and/or pay has previously been calculated by taking an average from the previous 12 weeks. This will now be calculated by taking an average from the previous year, or their full employment if less than a year.

Statement of terms

Another outcome of the Good Work Plan includes the right for all workers (as well as employees) to have the right to a written statement of terms. This statement should be given on the first day of employment as opposed to the current two months deadline, and should include any additional terms in relation to leave and benefits. This right kicks in on 6 April 2020.

Termination Payments

Another change on the horizon is regarding termination payments over £30,000. Previously only income tax has been payable on these payments, but employer national insurance contributions will be payable too from 6 April 2020.

‘Off payroll’

Finally, ‘off payroll’ rules will be amended from 6 April 2020. For large and medium sized organisations in the private sector, the onus will be on the employer to check whether any contractors who work for them through personal services companies are covered by IR35. This will include the payment of any tax due. These reforms were introduced to the public sector in 2017. Whether Conservative manifesto promises to review the off-payroll rules for the private sector will come to anything remains to be seen.

As always, we will update you on developments as they occur. In the meantime, if you have any questions on any of the issues mentioned in the above article, please contact Alan Sutherland.

24th December 2019