News Updates

What's coming up in 2020

Wednesday 22nd January 2020

There are many statutory changes due to take effect during 2020 along with a number of interesting cases due to be heard. Here we look at what lays ahead, which we will update as further developments occur.

Statutory Changes

Terms & Conditions of Employment

From 6 April 2020, the right to a written statement of particulars will be extended to include all workers, with most information to be provided to both employees and workers no later than the first day of employment.

Agency Workers

Regulations repealing “pay-between-assignment” contracts (known as the Swedish derogation) will come into effect on 6 April 2020. These contracts allow workers to exchange their right to be paid the same as their permanent counterparts in return for a contract with an agency guaranteeing some pay between assignments. Agency workers with contracts containing a Swedish derogation must be notified that it will no longer have effect on or before 30 April 2020.

From 6 April 2020, all new agency workers must be given a “Key Information Document” before agreeing the terms of their engagement.

Holiday Pay

From April 2020, the reference period used to calculate holiday pay for those with variable pay will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

Consultation Thresholds

New regulations effective from April 2020 will reduce the percentage threshold required for a valid employee request to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting from 10% to 2%, but the 15 employee minimum threshold will remain.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

From April 2020 qualifying parents will be entitled to 2 weeks of paid bereavement leave following the death of a child under 18 and this will include those who suffer a stillbirth which occurs after 24 weeks. Those with 26 weeks of continuous service will also be entitled to paid leave at the statutory rate.

Taxation of Termination Payments

From April 2020, termination payments above the £30,000 tax free threshold will become subject to employer NICs, in a change originally intended to take effect in 2018.

IR35 Changes

From 6 April 2020, end user clients will be required to determine the IR35 status of service providers. The paying party will also be responsible for required tax deductions. The changes mirror those introduced in 2017 for the public sector, but only apply to businesses with an annual turnover of over £10.2 million or 50 or more employees.

Executive Pay Gap Reporting

UK incorporated companies listed on a recognised stock exchange with 250 or more employees are now required to report on the difference in pay (including bonus) between CEOs and their full-time employees, known as the executive pay ratio. The first reports are due in 2020.

Important decisions expected in 2020

Vicarious Liability

The CA found Morrisons vicariously liable for a payroll data breach resulting from the actions of a disgruntled employee (click here). Morrisons argued that the Data Protection Act 1998 does not allow for vicarious liability. The SC decision is expected early in 2020.

Employment Status

The SC will hear Uber v Aslam in July. Uber are appealing the CA decision which upheld the EAT’s finding that Uber drivers have worker status (click here).

Long-Term Disability Payments

A CA decision is expected early in 2020 in Awan v ICTS UK Limited. The EAT implied term restricting the ability of ITCS to dismiss an employee receiving long-term disability payments where they were expressly provided for and would otherwise be frustrated (click here).

TUPE & Workers

Towards the end of 2019 the ET held in Dewhurst v Revisecatch & City Sprint, that TUPE 2006 applies to workers as well as traditional employees (click here). While ET decisions are not binding, it is noteworthy as it has the potential to significantly extend the scope of TUPE. An appeal is expected.  


In 2018, the SC held in Lee v Ashers Baking Company Ltd, that refusing to supply a cake with the message “Support Gay Marriage” did not amount to direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation (click here). This case has attracted significant press attention and is expected to go before the European Court of Human Rights later this year.

Employment Law Changes Post-General Election

The Conservatives made several employment related pledges, including:

  • Raising the national minimum wage from £8.21 to around £10.39 per hour by 2024;
  • Creating a state enforcement body to uphold worker rights;
  • Introducing a new right allowing workers to request a more predictable contract
  • More support for working parents with plans to extend leave for neonatal care, make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave and strengthen redundancy protections for new mothers; and
  • Flexible working consultation is expected, which will look at making it the default option unless an employer has a good reason for refusal

All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.