25-02-2019

Risky Business- Employment Law Changes 2019

Not keeping up to date with changes to Employment Law can put your business at risk, so from an employer’s perspective it is important to spend time understanding what the changes are so that you can ensure your business complies. That’s where we can help.

The key changes for 2019 are:

-National Minimum Wage, statutory sick, maternity, paternity & shared parental leave pay increases

From 1st April 2019 the National Minimum Wage is due to increase for ALL age categories, with the National Living Wage (NLW) increasing to £8.21 per hour. From 7th April 2019, statutory rates for maternity, paternity, shared parental leave and sick pay are also increasing from £145.18/week £148.68/week (or 90% of the employees’ average weekly earnings if less than the statutory rate).

-Auto-enrolment contribution increase

As per the set increases in pension scheme contribution from both employers and employees, organisations that currently only meet the minimum requirements must be prepared to impose percentage increases from April 2019.

Once enforced the minimum contribution for employers will raise from 2% to 3% and employee contributions will raise from 3% to 5% - resulting in a minimum total contribution of 8%.

-Settled status for EU workers after Brexit

For EU citizens, the Government has recently confirmed plans for a three-stage settlement application process which is hoped will make the process streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly.

Costing £170m, the scheme will be compulsory for all EU citizens living in the UK with individuals who have been in the UK for five years by the end of 2020 able to apply for ‘settled status’ and those who have arrived by 31st December 2020, but do not have five years’ residence, to seek to stay in the UK until they have.

From a legal perspective, getting a head-start with understanding and implementing these new regulations will allow for a smoother transition and any issues encountered can be eliminated in good time ahead of impending deadlines.

- Payslips for workers

As of 6th April 2019, the legal right to receive an itemised payslip will be extended to all of those recognised as ‘workers’, including those on permanent, casual and zero hours contracts. Whether written, printed or electronic, the payslips must detail how the payment was calculated in order to ensure clarity and transparency for all.

-Gender pay-gap reporting

Following on from its initial introduction in 2017, the second round of gender pay-gap reports are due on 5th April 2019. The same rules apply as previously outlined, however the Government is encouraging a more holistic action plan to be implemented to ensure that the business landscape surrounding the roles of males and females in the workplace changes for the better, as well as the gender pay-gap.

-Executive pay-gap reporting

Executive pay-gap reporting is due to come into force from 1st January 2020, with the data collection having begun on 1st January 2019. This means that, similarly to how gender pay-gaps are reported, UK companies that employ more than 250 members of staff are now required to publish the pay ratio between the CEO and ‘average’ employees – using members of staff on the 25th, 50th and 75th quartiles to compare.

For legal advice and support with any of the above, or for any other employment law or HR advice, get in touch with the expert Employment Law team at Banner Jones Solicitors on 01246 560 560.