Employment law is always changing and is very costly when you get it wrong, so we have done a round-up of the key changes all businesses need to be aware of in 2019.
In 2018, businesses had to get their head around many changes to Employment Law including the introduction of the GDPR and gender pay reporting, changes to the taxation of termination payments and increases to statutory rates such as National Minimum Wage and Statutory Sick pay.
So, what can businesses expect in 2019?
2019 isn’t going to be a quiet one with employment law changes! HR professionals and businesses should prepare for another busy April in particular, with several employment law changes to take effect from April 2019. We keep track of the latest employment law changes for you and a summary of the key changes are below:
January 2019 – Executive pay reporting
As of 1 January 2019, UK listed companies with more than 250 UK employees are required to publish the pay gap between their chief executive and their average UK worker. This will need to be completed on an annual basis. The requirement applies to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019 so the first tranche of reporting will start in 2020. It is recommended, affected companies should collate their evidence in good time to be able to calculate their pay ratios by the deadline.
March 2019 – Post-Brexit immigration rule change
Regardless of whether a deal on the UK’s exit from the EU is agreed, the rules around the employment of EU nationals will change sooner or later.
The government has introduced a scheme under which EU workers already in the UK will be able to apply for “settled status”, to be able to live and work in the UK indefinitely.
However, businesses should note that going forward, the employment of workers from the EU is likely to be subject to restrictions in the same way as the employment of other foreign national, so it’s important to adjust their recruitment processes accordingly. Recruitment and retention policies should be reviewed for effective workforce planning to plan ahead.
March 2019 – Modern Slavery Statement ‘naming & shaming’ list to be published
The Home Office will be conducting an annual audit anti-slavery statements, publishing a list of businesses that have failed to submit and publish their statement for the 2018 financial year by 31 March 2019 deadline.
The ‘naming and shaming’ will reiterate the reporting requirements under the legislation and, they may possibly look at introducing sanctions for non-compliance.
April 2019 – Extend itemised pay statements to workers
From 6 April 2019, the right to an itemised pay statement will extend to workers, not just employees.
Where a member of staff’s pay varies according to time worked, for example, zero hours contracts, the employer will have to include on the itemised pay statement the total number of hours worked for which variable pay is received.
Employers will need to state the number of hours for which they are paying the employee on the pay statement in cases where the employee’s wages vary in accordance with how much they have worked.
The employer must either show the total number of hours worked for which payment is being made or provide the figures for different types of work worked or different rates of pay.
April 2019 – National Minimum Wage & National Living Wage
From 1 April 2019, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will increase.
The National Living Wage (the rate for those who are 25 or over) will rise from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour.
The National Minimum Wage (for those aged under 25), the hourly rates will increase as follows:
• From £7.38 to £7.70 for those between 21 to 24-year-olds
• from £5.90 to £6.15 for between 18 to 20-year-olds
• from £4.20 to £4.35 for 16 and 17-year-olds
• Apprentice rate (workers under 19 or in the first year of apprenticeship) – £3.90 an hour.
April 2019 – Employment Tribunal compensation limits increase
Since the fees to bring employment tribunals were removed in July 2017, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of tribunal claims and this is expected to continue.
The new rates are:
• Limit on guaranteed payments – £29
• Limit on a week’s pay – £525
• Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment – £15,750
• Minimum basic award for unfair dismissal – £6,408
• Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal – £86,444
April 2019 – Increased statutory rates
The weekly rate for statutory sick pay is expected to increase to £94.25 from 6 April 2019.
The weekly amount for statutory family pay rates is expected to increase to £148.68 for 2019/20. This rate will apply to maternity pay, adoption pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and maternity allowance.
The increase normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, so 7 April 2019.
April 2019 –Auto Enrolment pension contributions
From April 2019, the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase for both employers and employees. Under the new requirements, employers and employees will now have to contribute a minimum of 3% and 5% respectively.
How we can help you
If you need support and have any questions about how these employment law changes apply to your business to stay compliant, please get in touch and we will happily advise you. Click here to submit your enquiry. We will translate complex legal issues into simple, clear and practical advice to suit your business in by phone or email.
For your personalised employment law action plan, get in touch today!