Employment Law Update: April 2019
With the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it would be easy to forget the upcoming changes to employment law, however employers need to ensure that they are legally compliant and that they have the correct policies and procedures in place. We review the key employment law issues and imminent changes that employers should be aware of.
1 April 2019
National living and minimum wage
From 1 April, the national living wage for workers aged 25 and over will increase to £8.21 per hour and the national minimum wage rates will increase as follows:
- Ages 21-24 - £7.70 per hour
- Ages 18-20 - £6.15 per hour
- Under 18 - £4.20 per hour
4 April 2019
Gender pay gap reporting
On or before 4 April, employers with 250-plus employees must report on their gender pay gap figures based on a snapshot date of 5 April 2018.
Employers must publish their reports on their website and on the GOV.UK website.
There is no obligation on employers to provide a narrative around any gender pay gap but employers can choose to include this to explain the figures and any actions taken or which the employer is proposing to take to reduce any gap.
6 April 2019
For pay periods beginning on or after 6 April, pay-slips must include information on any hours worked for variable pay and the right to an itemised pay statement extends to workers, not just employees.
Statutory Sick Pay - From 6 April, the weekly rate of statutory sick pay will increase to £94.25.
Increased tribunal awards
For dismissals taking place on or after 6 April, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases from £83,682 to £86,444 and when calculating statutory redundancy pay and the unfair dismissal basic award, the maximum weekly pay rate increases to £525.
From 6 April the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase. Employers will have to contribute 3% and employees will have to contribute a minimum of 5%.
7 April 2019
Statutory ‘family’ payments
From 7 April, the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £148.68 per week.
Executive pay reporting
Rules which came into force on 1 January 2019 mean that UK quoted companies with more than 250 employees will have to report on ratios between CEO and employees' pay and benefits.
The requirement applies to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019 so the first reports will be due in 2020. However, affected companies should gather their evidence in good time to be able to calculate their pay ratios by the deadline. The information will have to be included in a directors' remuneration report.
The government has recently launched its first holiday pay advertising campaign to increase awareness in what should and should not form part of holiday pay. It is a good time to review current policies and processes to identify any continuing areas of risk given the changes in case law over recent years.
We are experiencing an upsurge in the number of instructions relating to the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Take the opportunity to review the restrictive covenants you have in place for key employees and ensure that these are drafted in a way that protects your business interests.
On 25 May 2019 GDPR will have been in force for a year and this would be the perfect time for businesses to consider the continuing actions they need to take to continue to be legally compliant. To find out more about the first year of GDPR and how to ensure legal compliance join us at our seminar: GDPR: What have we learnt from the first year?
How can we help?
If you would like any further information or advice on the above then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the employment team.