Employment Law: Change is Coming

Posted 27/06/2019

Despite Brexit overshadowing Government business there are still several significant employment law reforms being debated or indeed enacted. The Government’s “Good Work Plan” (which commits to implementing the Taylor Review’s recommendations) has already resulted in draft legislation. Many of the changes will not take effect until April 2020, but employers and recruiters still need to be aware. Also, the Courts and Tribunals continue to hand down judgments; a number of key decisions are awaited.

Some key changes with confirmed implementation dates:

Written Statement of Particulars of Employment

From 6th April 2020 employees will have the right to be provided with a written statement of terms on the first day of employment, rather than within the first two months. The “prescribed information” which must be included within the written statement will also increase. Also from April 2020, the right to a written statement of terms will be extended to “workers” whereas currently the requirement only relates to full employees.

Repeal of “Swedish derogation” (Agency Workers Regulations) –

Again, from 6th April 2020, a Temporary Work Agency (TWA) will no longer be able to insert this exemption into contracts given to agency workers. The Agency Workers Regulations provide a right to the same basic pay and working conditions as comparable employees following a 12-week qualifying period. The derogation (to be repealed in April 2020) entitles TWAs to effectively contract out of this obligation insofar as it relates to pay.

Other expected legislative changes:

  1. New statutory code of practice on sexual harassment.
  2. Reforms of the Employment Tribunal, including possible reintroduction of Employment Tribunal fees.
  3. Parental bereavement leave and pay – expected April 2020.
  4. Clarification of employment status tests, including possible harmonisation with tax law.

Case Law

Several key decisions are awaited. Also, the UK Supreme Court recently handed down a judgment regarding the enforceability of employment restrictive covenants (non-compete clauses etc). The decision addressed quite technical contract law principles (relating to the drafting of such covenants) and was perhaps more immediately of interest to lawyers. Nevertheless, the UK’s highest court has clarified the law in this area and the decision will undoubtedly influence the advice given by lawyers to their employer clients. Both when drafting new employment contracts and seeking to enforce purported restrictions in existing contracts.

If you require advice or assistance in relation to these or any other employment law issues, contact David Dixey on 01376 320456 or


David Dixey

Posted 27/06/2019 by:
David Dixey
Senior Chartered Legal Executive in Litigation & Employment Teams

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