Future Changes: What to expect in 2021

Future Changes: What to expect in 2021's Tags

Tags related to this article

Future Changes: What to expect in 2021

Published 15 January 2021

THE FACTS

Unsurprisingly in the context of the pandemic, the Government’s legislative agenda for 2021 may evolve.  Below are the changes we expect to happen in 2021, with some potential developments, and our pick of upcoming cases and judgments.

Expected changes

The following changes are expected to come into effect in 2021. 

6 April 2021

Changes to the current formula for post-employment notice pay (PENP) calculations The aim of these amendments is to avoid unfair outcomes if the employee’s pay period is defined in months, but the contractual notice period is expressed in weeks. The changes will also ensure that non-residents who received PENP are taxed fairly.
Changes to the off-payroll working rules These changes, designed to address non-compliance with IR35 in the private sector, shifting responsibility for income tax and NICs to the client or intermediary, were postponed last year in response to the pandemic.
Changes to statutory payment limits The annual uplifts to statutory limits and minimum payments – including payments for weekly pay, family leave, national minimum wage and redundancy pay – come into effect on 6 April every year. We will notify readers of the new rates when they are published.
End of April 2021 COVID-19 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme due to end.

Potential developments

We may see developments in the below areas this year:

Employment Bill 2019/2020 At the end of 2019, the Government announced that it would introduce a new Employment Bill, covering topics ranging from the establishment of a single enforcement body for the labour market to a requirement for employers to pass on all tips and services charges to workers. The progress of this bill has been delayed.
Neonatal leave and pay In 2020, the Government proposed the introduction of statutory neonatal leave and pay for up to 12 weeks for parents of babies requiring neonatal care. Legislation implementing this will be included in the new Employment Bill.  
Leave for unpaid carers The Government’s consultation on its proposal to give employees who are unpaid carers one week’s unpaid leave per year for the purposes of caring closed in August, and the Government response is awaited.   
Extending redundancy protection for women If passed, new legislation will prohibit redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave and for six months after the end of the pregnancy or maternity leave, except in specified circumstances.  

Cases and judgements expected in 2021

Holiday pay

There are several important holiday pay cases due to be heard by the Supreme Court this year.

Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and another v Agnew and others
This is an appeal from the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal. If decided against the employer, the scope for workers to make substantial retrospective claims for unpaid holiday pay will be significantly increased.

Harpur Trust v Brazel
The Supreme Court is due to consider whether an employment tribunal was wrong to find that “part-year workers” (such as school teachers employed during school terms) should have their annual leave capped at 12.07% of annualised hours.

Flowers and others v East of England Ambulance Trust
The Supreme Court is set to decide whether holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations must include regular voluntary overtime.

National Minimum Wage Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake
The Supreme Court is considering whether workers on sleep-in shifts, employed to carry out duties if required, were only entitled to the National Minimum Wage for hours in which they were required to be awake for the purposes of working, and not for the whole shift.
Equal Pay Asda v Brierley
The judgment on this case is expected imminently. The Supreme Court is considering whether workers in retail stores were employed under comparable terms and conditions to those working in separate distribution depots for the purposes of equal pay claims.
Employment Status Uber BV and others v Aslam and other
The Court of Appeal decided that Uber drivers were workers and so entitled to paid holiday and National Minimum Wage. Uber’s appeal was heard by the Supreme Court, and we are waiting for the Judgment.

Authors

Zoë Wigan

Zoë Wigan

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6564

Ceri Fuller

Ceri Fuller

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6583

Hilary Larter

Hilary Larter

Leeds

+44 (0)113 251 4710

< Back to articles