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APRIL 2019 EMPLOYMENT LAW CHANGES

Each April, the Government may amend employment regulations and set new deadlines for Companies to meet.  The following are deadlines and updates which Managers and HR professionals should be aware of:

1.         Second gender pay gap reporting deadline

Employers who employ 250 or more employees will be putting the finishing touches to their gender pay gap report.  The deadline to publish the second report is 4th April 2019 for private and voluntary sector employers while the public sector employers must publish their second gender pay gap report no later than 30th March 2019.

The report must be published on the employer’s website and should remain there for at least three years.  Employers will also need to upload the results to the government’s reporting website.

Employers who do not publish their gender pay gap figures may face public criticism for failing to do so.

2.         Payslips

On 6th April 2019, two important changes to the rules on payslips come into force.

Firstly, additional information must be included for employees whose pay varies depending on the number of hours they have worked.  This means that where an employee’s pay varies by reference to time worked, the payslip must now set out the number of hours paid for on the variable basis.

The second change is that all workers, rather than just employees, will now have the right to a payslip for pay periods that begin on or after 6th April 2019.

3.         National Minimum Wage

It is important that Companies ensure that workers are being paid at least the national minimum wage rate and keep records of all payments in order to show that the Company has complied with the national minimum wage.

From 1st April 2019 the new hourly rates are:

National living wage:               25+      £8.21

National minimum wage:        21-24   £7.70

                                                18-21   £6.15

                                                16-17   £4.35

                                      Apprentices   £3.90

4.         Tax and National Insurance

From 6th April 2019, the basic personal allowance is £12,500. Any earnings below this will be tax free.

The lower earnings limit for national insurance will rise to £188 per week, and the primary threshold which is the rate at which employees start to pay national insurance contributions will rise to £166 per week.  The secondary threshold, the point at which employer’s national insurance contributions become payable, will also be £166 per week which brings the two in line.

5.         Statutory Pay Rates

From 7th April 2019, the weekly rates for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay will increase to £148.68.

From 6th April 2019, the weekly rate for statutory sick pay increases to £94.25.

It is worth mentioning that the employer will need to update any policies or documents that mention these rates such as family friendly and sickness absence policies. 

6.         Redundancy Pay

The calculation for statutory redundancy pay is based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age.  As from the 6th April 2019 the weekly pay is subject to a cap of £525 and the maximum statutory redundancy pay will be £15,750. .

7.         Unfair Dismissal

The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases on 6th April 2019 from £83,682 to £86,444.

8.         Pension Auto-Enrolment

Employers will need to increase their contribution into pension auto-enrolment schemes from 2% to 3% from 6 April 2019, with an increase to the employee contribution from 3% to 5%.

9.         Modern Slavery Statement

The Home Office wrote to 17,000 businesses in 2018 reminding them of their responsibility to publish an annual statement in respect of modern slavery and human trafficking.  This is a legal requirement where the company has a total turnover of at least £36 million per year.

There is currently no strict timetable for publication but the government’s guidance recommends that statements should be published within 6 months of the end of the company’s financial year.

To discuss any of the changes that are coming into force please contact our Employment team.

Posted on 21/03/2019 by Elaine Tyler

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