With the traditional toffee and the coconut all that's left in the tins of Quality Street, now comes the time to look forward to what lies ahead. Whilst easily missed, just before Christmas the Government issued the first of the proposed legislation in line with its Good Work Plan (which followed the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices).

Perhaps one of the most interesting announcements within this, is that with effect from 6 April 2020, the reference period with regard to calculation of an average week's pay for holiday pay purposes (found within the Working Time Regulations) is to change from 12 weeks to 52.

The rationale behind such increase is that it's designed to iron out discrepancies around the seasonal nature of a great deal of casual and zero hours work.  One particularly interesting impact however will be around how overtime and commission impact on holiday entitlement.  As the rules around this have evolved stemming from European case law, one of the biggest grumbles from employers has been that there was scope for individuals to take advantage by taking annual leave immediately following a period when a lot of overtime was worked (meaning that the holiday pay was then inflated upwards by the unusually high levels of overtime in the preceding 12 weeks). Changing the reference period to 52 weeks should take away any such incentive from employees and perhaps make things a little fairer and easier all around - although with an apparent lack of any transitional provisions around implementation, there may be an interesting period for payroll providers in terms of managing that change.