Despite Brexit dominating the headlines there are several key changes to employment law coming into force in April 2019.
- Extension of itemised pay statements to workers, not just employees – 6 April 2019
Currently, only employees are required to be given an itemised pay statement. From 6 April the Employment Rights Act (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 and the Employment Rights Act (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2018 are due to come into force which will extend this right to include workers. In addition, employers will be required to itemise on payslips the number of hours worked, where the workers’ pay varies depending on the number of hours they have worked. The Government has produced guidance to help employers comply with the new legislation.
- Change in maximum penalty provided for aggravated breach of any employment law – 6 April 2019
Currently, employers can be fined up to £5,000 for any breach where it is considered there has been an aggravated breach of employment law legislation. Following proposals in the governments Good Work Plan, the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2019 were drafted. The proposal is that, under these regulations, this will be increased to £20,000 from 6 April (although as at 28 March 2019 the regulations are still in draft form).
- Annual increases to various statutory compensation limits – 6 April 2019.
The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2019 increases the limits applying to certain awards of employment tribunals and other amounts payable under employment legislation. These increases impact on the maximum amount of a week’s pay used to calculate statutory redundancy payments to £525 per week (up from £508 per week). The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases to £86,444 (from £83,682) where the effective date of termination is on or after the 6 April 2019.
- Changes to National Minimum Wage rates – 1 April
This is changes to the national living wage which increases to £8.21 per hour from that date. Other national minimum wage rates also increase with hourly rates rising to £7.70 for workers aged at least 21 but under 25, to £6.15 for workers aged at least 18 but under 21 and £4.35 for workers aged under 18. The hourly apprentice rate increases to £3.90.
- Changes to statutory payments – 7 April
The Social Security Benefits (Up-rating) Order 2019 raises the level of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay to £148.68 per week on 7 April 2019. Statutory sick pay rises to £94.25 on 6 April 2019
As we mentioned in our February blogpost ( What to expect in 2019), there are other changes to be considered on the horizon. In particular, the change to employer’s national insurance contribution treatment on termination payments (which was originally due to take effect in April of this year) is now expected to come into force on 6 April 2020. This has the effect that all termination payments above the £30,000 threshold will be subject to class 1 A national insurance contributions (employer’s contributions).