Employment

Although there are a huge number of proposals in the pipeline, only a few employment law changes are coming into force in April.

Itemised payslips

As regards pay for work on or after 6 April 2019:

  • Employers will need to provide all workers (not just employees) with an itemised pay statement.
  • If a worker’s pay varies by reference to time worked, their payslip must show the total number of hours worked in respect of the variable amount of pay either as (i) a single aggregate figure, or (ii) separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay. Here is the government guidance which contains some case studies.

A worker who thinks that they have not received a payslip, or that their payslip lacks the required information, may bring a claim. If the tribunal agrees, it must make a declaration to this effect. It may also order repayment of unnotified deductions made in the 13 weeks preceding the presentation of the claim, even where the employer was otherwise entitled to make the deductions. This is separate from any liability for unlawful deduction of wages.

New statutory rates

  • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase to £86,444 (from £83,682). Consequently, for any dismissals which take effect on or after 6 April 2019, the cap on the compensatory award will be the lower of £86,444 or 52 weeks’ pay.
  • The limit on a week’s pay used to calculate certain statutory payments and provisions will rise to £525 (from £508). As a result, the maximum basic award / statutory redundancy payment will be £15,750 from April.
  • Statutory sick pay will increase to £94.25 per week (from £92.05) from 6 April 2019.
  • Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase from £145.18 to £146.68 per week from 7 April 2019. Maternity allowance will increase to £146.68 from 8 April 2019.

Increased national minimum wage rates

The following national minimum wage hourly rates will be effective from 1 April 2019:

  • The national living wage (workers aged 25 and over) will be £8.21.
  • The standard adult rate (workers aged 21-24) will be £7.70.
  • The development rate (workers aged 18–20) will be £6.15.
  • The young workers rate (workers aged 16 and 17 who are not apprentices) will be £4.35.
  • The apprentice rate (apprentices under 19, or aged 19 or over and in first year of the apprenticeship) will be £3.90.

Second gender pay gap reports

The deadline for the second round of gender pay gap reporting is approaching:

  • Private / voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees need to publish an annual gender pay gap report (by 4 April each year, based on a snapshot of data taken on 5 April the previous year). The report need not be published at the same time each year, so long as it is published by 4 April.
  • For relevant public sector employers, reports are due by 30 March.

Users of Workbox, the employment team’s online HR site, can access detailed practical guidance on the dedicated gender pay gap reporting page.

Pensions: auto-enrolment

From 6 April 2019, the minimum contribution to auto-enrolment workplace pensions is increasing from 5% to 8% of qualifying earnings (qualifying earnings being between £6,136 and £50,00 for the 2019/20 tax year). The 8% is made up of employer and employee contribution, with employers’ minimum contributions set at 3% (up from 2%), though it is possible for the employer to pay a higher amount.

Brexit: settled status

Eligible EU citizens with a valid passport, as well as their non-EU citizen family members with a valid biometric residence card, can already apply for settled immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. The process is intended to be fully operational by the end of March 2019.

Find out more in our previous blog Settled status: what do employers need to know?

Future HR agenda

For a look at the wider HR agenda for later in 2019 and beyond, read HR and employment: your employment to do list which we published in January. Please get in touch for more information or if you would like help with policy development.

Workbox users can find more details of all these developments at our ‘What’s new?’ page.

Julie Keir

Julie Keir

Practice Development Lawyer at Brodies LLP
As a Practice Development Lawyer Julie is responsible for developing and maintaining Brodies Workbox, our award-winning online HR and employment law resource.
Julie Keir