Five key employment law changes come into force in April

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 15, 2020 14:19

In its latest article offering legal advice to golf clubs, the National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association (NGCAA) details new legislation that is coming in next month which could affect golf clubs.

The Taylor Review was published in 2017, which looked into the ‘gig’ economy and agency workers, with particular reference and ambition towards having all work in the UK economy being fair and decent and for employers to offer opportunities to give individuals scope to develop and progress.

The government responded with its publication of the Good Work Plan in 2018. This contained various proposals, with two having already come into force in 2019, namely the requirement for payslips for workers (not just employees) and an increase in the amount of the penalty that a tribunal can award for an aggravated breach.

There are some more wide-ranging proposals yet to hit the statute books, including clarification and alignment of employment and tax status, the right to request a more stable and predictable contract and tackling ‘one sided flexibility’ by looking at legislation to enforce payment for cancelled shifts and reasonable notice periods.

Any golf club employing people, engaging people under ‘worker’ contracts or as self-employed contractors and those with agency staff will be affected by the five key changes, which are examined below. To take effect on April 6, 2020:

Written statement of terms and conditions

For many years now, employees with more than one month of continuous service have had the right to receive a written statement of the terms and conditions of their employment, such statement to be issued within two months of commencement.

The first change introduced here is that the right to a written statement of terms and conditions is now extended to those in the ‘worker’ category, so it is not just applicable to employees. Note, though, that it is only for those workers who are engaged by the employer at any time after April 6, 2020. Existing workers (who are not in the employee category) do not have a right to receive a written statement unless they are re-engaged by the employer after that date.

In relation to both employees and workers, there is now an extended list of information that must be included within this statement. Previously, the required particulars were set out in section one of the Employment Rights Act 1996, but the additional items are listed below. Many golf clubs will already have this information included, so it is wise to conduct an audit to check whether existing contracts include this information and amend if necessary.

Existing employees have the right to request a fresh statement of terms and conditions of employment to include this additional required information.

The additional prescribed details required are as follows:

  • In relation to hours of work, particulars of the days of the week the worker is required to work and whether or not such hours or days may be variable and, if they are, how they vary or how that variation is to be determined
  • Any terms and conditions relating to any paid leave (in addition to holiday or sick leave)
  • Any other benefit that is not covered elsewhere in the written statement
  • Details of any probationary period, including conditions applicable to it and its duration
  • Details of any training entitlement provided by the employer, whether it is compulsory and particulars of any other compulsory training for which the employer will not pay.


There has never been legislation to provide for parental bereavement leave in the UK before. With effect from April 6, 2020, this will change

Holiday pay reference period

In order to calculate an average week’s pay for holidays where a worker has variable remuneration, the reference period for calculating that pay is increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Where the worker has been engaged for less than 52 weeks, the reference period will be the number of weeks for which the worker has been engaged.

New parental bereavement leave

Until now, there has been no legislation to provide for parental bereavement leave. With effect from April 6, 2020, the position will change.

Employee parents with 26 weeks or more continuous service have the right to take up to two weeks of leave in the case of child bereavement. This leave is paid at the prevailing statutory rates (the same as for other statutory family pay matters) and applies to parents whose child dies under the age of 18 and includes a child still born after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The right will also apply in the case of parents who have a child placed with them for adoption, subject to certain conditions.

Changes to the agency working rules

At present, agency workers are entitled to receive the same pay and basic working conditions as compared to direct recruits once they have completed 12 weeks’ of continuous service working in the same role. However, there is something called the ‘Swedish derogation’ which currently provides an exemption to the right to equal pay as compared to a direct recruit if the agency worker is employed under a permanent contract with the temporary work agency and is paid by the agency for periods between assignments.

From April 6, 2020, this Swedish derogation will be abolished, meaning that once agency workers have satisfied the 12 week qualifying period, they will be entitled to equal pay as compared to workers who are engaged directly by the ‘employer’.

A further change under this heading is that on or prior to April 30, 2020, any agency workers who have an existing contract that contains the Swedish derogation provision, must be provided with a written notification by the agency that it will no longer have effect. Further, from April 6, 2020 agency work seekers must be provided with the key facts statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake work.


Changes to IR 35 rules

Some people are engaged to carry out work under a contract referred to as IR35, which can be more beneficial in relation to taxation. It is generally used with people who undertake sub-contract work and is normally set up with an intermediary service company.

From April 6, 2020, new laws will affect the IR35 relationship, but it will not affect ‘small businesses’.

Most golf clubs will fit the criteria for a small business; if a club meets two of the following three conditions, it will NOT be a small business:

  • An annual turnover of more than £10.2 million
  • A balance sheet total of more than £5.1 million
  • More than 50 employees.

At present, it is the intermediary service company’s responsibility to determine whether IR35 applies. For all contracts entered into or payments made on or after April 6, 2020, the onus will shift to the end-user client to make a status determination.

The responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance will shift to the party who pays for the individual’s service.

For further advice on the law affecting golf clubs or on the proposed changes set out above, please contact or 01886 812943.

The NGCAA can provide assistance and review your statements of terms and conditions of engagement for employees and workers which is included in a club’s NGCAA annual subscription fee.

The National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association (NGCAA)

The Media Centre, Emirates Riverside,

Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH3 3QR

Tel: 01886 812943



Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 15, 2020 14:19
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