Coming up in 2019 in Employment Law

legal updates

Recruitment and retention policies will need to be reviewed for effective workforce planning.

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National minimum wage rate increases

                Current rate             Future rate (from April 2019)      
NLW                  £7.83             £8.21     (National Living Wage)
21-24 rate           £7.38            £7.70     
18-20 rate           £5.90            £6.15     
16-17 rate           £4.20            £4.35     
Apprentice rate   £3.70            £3.90     
Accom offset      £7.00            £7.55     (Accomodation Offset)

Increased statutory family and sick pay rate
Family pay rights (maternity pay, adoption pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and maternity allowance) is expected to increase to £148.68 for 2019/20.

The increase normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, which in 2019 is 7 April.

The weekly statutory sick pay is also expect to increase to £94.25 from 6 April 2019.

Extend itemised pay statements to workers
The right to an itemised pay statement will extend to workers and not just employees from the 06 April 2019.

If a member of staff’s pay varies due to the hours worked, the employer will now have to provide an itemised pay statement with the total number of hours worked for which the variable pay is received.

This can be done either as an aggregate figure or as separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay.

Start preparing for parental bereavement leave and pay
The government has confirmed its intention to introduce a right for bereaved parents to take paid time off work. Under the current proposals, bereaved parents will be able to take leave as a single two-week period, as two separate periods of one week each, or as a single week. They will have 56 weeks from their child’s death to take the leave.

The new right is expected to come into force in April 2020, but employers should start preparing for it during 2019, and could decide to introduce their own bereavement leave policy if they don’t already have one.

Publish second gender pay gap report
Employers with 250 or more employees on the “snapshot date” ( 31 March in the public sector and 5 April in the private and voluntary sectors) must report on their percentage gender pay gap annually within 12 months of that date.

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This means that the deadlines for the second round of reports are 30 March or 4 April 2019. Employers need to prepare to publish their second report, if they have not done so already.

The private and voluntary sectors, reports must also be accompanied by a written statement confirming their accuracy, and be signed by a senior person as prescribed by the legislation. Organisations must publish 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 it may be ideal to provide an explanation as this may help to limit any reputational damage. Given that comparisons are likely be made with the previous year’s report, consider highlighting any reduction in the gap or be able to provide good reasons for any increases in the gap.

Start on the evidence for executive pay reporting
UK quoted Companies with more than 250 employees will have to report on ratios between the CEO and employees’ pay and benefits. The rule come into force on 1 January 2019.

This applies to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019 so the portion of reporting will start in 2020. But, the affected companies should gather the evidence in good time to be able to calculate the pay ratios by the deadline.

The information will have to be included in the directors’ remuneration report.

Post-Brexit immigration rule changes
Whether a deal on the UK’s exit from the EU is agreed or not, the rules around the employment of EU nationals will change sooner or later.
Once the UK leaves the EU, free movement will end, although in practice this is likely to be delayed pending legislation to repeal the current arrangements. Also, it will take time to put in place the practical arrangements necessary to make this possible.

The government has introduced a scheme under which EU workers already in the UK will be able to apply for “settled status”, to be able to live and work in the UK indefinitely.

However, employers need to be aware that, going forward, the employment of workers from the EU is likely to be subject to restrictions in the same way as the employment of other foreign nationals, so will need to adjust their recruitment processes accordingly. Recruitment and retention policies will need to be reviewed for effective workforce planning.

Roxanne BradleyLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

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New employment legislation effective from 6 April 2024

Enhanced employee rights, offering day-one entitlements to carer’s leave, flexible working arrangements, and extended redundancy protection for pregnant employees and those on family leave.

Employment Law: Annual Leave Changes

Several significant changes came into force on 1 January 2024 that affect the statutory annual leave and pay entitlements.

Update on Rights to Flexible Working Requests

Employers will remain entitled to turn down a request pointing to reasonable grounds as a basis for refusal.

Three new employment laws for 2024

The Carers Leave Act, The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act and The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act.

Parents and Carers: New Protections at Work

Parents and carers will benefit from the following new employment protections that received royal assent in May 2023.

April 2023 Pay Rate Increases

The new financial year is upon us, with new rates abound.

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