Employment Law in 2019

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7 changes for businesses

All businesses will need to be aware of the following changes that have already happened or will be happening to Employment Law in 2019. Here are seven of the key changes:

Pension Contributions

From April 2019 the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase for both employers and employees. Currently, automatic enrolment requirements mean employers must contribute a minimum of 2% of an eligible worker’s pre-tax salary to their pension pot, with the individual contributing 3% themselves. However, under the increased requirements, employers and employees will now have to contribute a minimum of 3% and 5% respectively.

April 2019 payslip changes

From 6 April 2019, new Regulations will require payslips to be ‘itemised’ and state the number of hours being paid where pay varies according to time worked (either as an aggregate number of hours or as separate figures for different types of work (or rates of pay)). In addition, the legal right to a payslip will be extended to include those who are recognised as workers.

New rates for the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

From 1 April 2019 all the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will increase, with the top rate for workers aged 25 and over going up to £8.21 per hour (from £7.83).

The National Minimum Wage will also increase for:

  • Workers aged between 21-24 from £7.38 to £7.70 an hour;
  • 18-20 year olds from £5.90 to £6.15 an hour;
  • Those over compulsory school age but not yet 18 from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour; and
  • Apprentices from £3.70 an hour to £3.90 an hour (providing the apprentice is under the age of 19, or 19 and over but in the first year of their current apprenticeship).

Increased statutory family-related pay, statutory sick pay and redundancy pay

The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £148.68 for pay weeks commencing on or after 7 April 2019.

The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £94.25 from 6 April 2019.

Statutory redundancy pay will rise again from 6 April 2019. Employers that make employees redundant must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount of £525 from 6 April 2019.

Gender pay gap reporting

Following the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, private organisations with 250 or more employees will again be required to publish their gender pay gap figures on or before the 4th April 2019. Public-sector employers must publish their second gender pay gap report no later than 30 March 2019.

Modern slavery

The Modern Slavery Act was introduced in 2015. Since then, it has been a legal requirement for commercial organisations with a total turnover of at least £36 million per year to publish annual modern slavery and human trafficking statements.

The Government’s guidance recommends that statements be published within six months of the end of the organisation’s financial year. For example, if your organisation’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March, publication for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 is expected by 30 September 2019. Combatting modern slavery appears to remain a priority for the Government which will continue to build profile over the coming months.

Parental Bereavement Leave

The parental bereavement (pay and Leave) Bill will come into force in April 2020 and will permit primary carers (parents, foster parents, guardians and in some instances extended family) a statutory right to a two week period of bereavement leave on the death of a child under 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks.

Paid leave will be available to those with 26 weeks’ continuous employment, otherwise employees are entitled to unpaid leave. The leave may be taken in one block or two one week periods and will be available for a period of 56 weeks from the death of the child. Employees will not be required to provide a death certificate to employers.

For further legal help and advice for employment or commercial requirements please contact our Employment team or Company Commercial team on 01733 882800 or email [email protected].

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