Are you aware of the changes to the law?
We understand that running a care home or care provision is not easy – with a combination of caring for your residents, managing your staff, relationships with relatives, CQC regulation and financial management you have a huge amount on your plate, and that was before a global pandemic! It is against this background that we are reaching out to care homes who may have missed a couple of important changes to the law which may impact upon your staff.
New starters since 6 April 2020?
If so, then you will be subject to new rules around contracts of employment (statements of particulars) and the information that needs to be provided to your staff. Up until 6 April 2020, the information that you were required to provide was as follows:
- The names of the employer and employee/worker.
- The member of staff’s start date and date upon which any continuous service commenced;
- The member of staff’s pay (or method of calculating it) and intervals of payment.
- The member of staff’s hours of work, including normal working hours (if applicable).
- The member of staff’s holiday entitlement and arrangements for holiday pay.
- The member of staff’s job title or job description.
- The member of staff’s place of work.
- The identity of the individual they should appeal to, if they wish to challenge a grievance or disciplinary decision.
However, prior to 6 April 2020, this information did not have to be provided immediately and the right did not extend to workers (yes that is right, it should now be provided to agency staff as well as casuals and zero-hour workers). From 6 April 2020, employees and workers must be provided with a written statement of particulars, on or before the first day of employment. Furthermore, additional information must be provided to include any benefits or training you provide as well as any paid leave, the hours and days they are expected to work, how and whether those hours can be varied, and details of any probationary period.
While there is no requirement to issue a new statement to staff engaged prior to 6 April 2020, if any of those staff request a new statement, you are obliged to provide it within one month of the request.
Oh, and to top it all off, with effect from the same date (6 April 2020), the period used to calculate a week’s pay for holiday pay purposes increased from the previous 12 weeks of work, to the previous 52 weeks!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of business owners we have spoken to have missed these changes to the law. The start of April saw the start of the pandemic and most of us were more focussed on the health of our friends and family and whether our businesses would survive than changes to employment law, but now is the time to ensure your contracts of employment comply with UK employment law.
If your contracts have not been updated since April 2020, the chances are that they are out of date and exposing you to unnecessary risks. We recognise the difficulties the care industry has faced in the proceeding 15 months, and to that end, we are offering a free contract review to any employers in the care industry.