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What small businesses need to know about new legislation in 2020 - Part 2

Yesterday we shared some advice from the FSB about changes in legislation which are relevant in business – much of which had been put on hold due to Brexit and then a General Election.

Today, here are some other changes which need to be considered – and if necessary please seek specialist advice from our Solicitors in Swindon.

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act is expected to come into force in April although the regulations have not yet been laid before Parliament.  This legislation creates a new right to two weeks’ bereavement leave and pay for employees whose child dies below the age of 18, or those who have a child who is stillborn. 

One possible big change could come for some business around EU Immigration and Brexit. A new “Australian style” points-based immigration system will apply from January 2021 to both EU and non-EU citizens coming to the UK.  This will require some businesses preparing for what that could mean for their workforce. 

This will replace the current immigration system and also current free movement for European citizens to the UK. 

No detail is available yet so it’s impossible to pinpoint which sectors might be affected by this – negatively or otherwise. For EU citizens recruited before January 1 2021, it appears employers can rely on the existing ‘right to work checks’ they carried out when they recruited based solely on the worker’s EU passport or EU identity card. 

Employers shall not be required to distinguish between EU citizens who moved to the UK before or after Brexit until the new, points-based immigration system is introduced. 

EU citizens already in the UK prior to Brexit have to apply for settled or pre-settled status by 31 December 2020. 

The responsibility lies with EU citizens and their family who arrive in the UK during the transition period (i.e. after Brexit but before December 31 this year) to apply for leave if they want to stay beyond December 31 2020. 

If they do not apply by that time, in principle they would be working illegally, but the employer will have no obligation to check that, because it will still be able to employ someone based solely on their EU passport or EU identity card, if it was checked before their employment started during the transition period. 

At present, that would be the only right to work check required. Confused? With more detail more clarity should emerge. 

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

6 Gold View, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8GZ

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy
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