Changes to employment laws: what you need to know

April has passed and with it a host of changes to UK Employment law. Here’s a guide to the latest developments and proposed future changes that every business should be aware of.

1. National Minimum Wage

increases Responding to the Low Pay Commission’s autumn 2018 recommendations, new National Minimum/Living Wage rates were brought into effect from 1 April 2019. • The National Living Wage has increased from £7.83 to £8.21 for workers aged 25 and over.

• Workers aged 21-24 are now entitled to receive £6.15 an hour.

• Young workers aged 16-17 should receive £4.35 an hour.

• Apprentice rates (workers under 19 or in the first year of apprenticeship) is now £3.90 an hour.

To ensure your business is fully compliant with these changes to the National Minimum Wage, you should check that whoever looks after your payroll is fully informed and is making calculations that are up-to-date.

2. Good work plan The Government announced its intentions to introduce legislative changes to improve the protection for agency workers and zero hour workers. Government also confirmed its commitment to abolish the ‘Swedish derogation’, which excludes agency workers from the right to the same pay as directly recruited workers.

3. Gender pay reporting If you are a business with 250 or more employees, you were required to submit GDP reports by April 2019. The aim of the results is to shine a light on gender pay gap progress across the UK workforce. The outcome of the reports may well result in sanctions across businesses to speed up progression.

20 insight MAY/JUNE 2019 4. Auto-Enrolment pension

contributions Minimum contributions for auto- enrolment pension schemes will increase for employers and employees in the year 2019. Employers’ two per cent contribution will increase to three per cent and employees will increase from three per cent to five per cent per employee contribution.

5 Increased statutory family

and sick pay rates The weekly amount of statutory family pay rates is expected to increase in 2019/20. Increasing to £148.68 this amount will apply to maternity pay, adoption pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and maternity allowance. Furthermore,

the weekly rate for statutory sick pay was also increased to £94.25 on 6 April 2019.


‘Check that

whoever looks after your

payroll is fully informed’

6. Payslips The way employers issue payslips changed on 6 April 2019. Government states that employers will need to include the total number of hours worked on payslips for employees whose wages differ depending on the amount of time they have worked. Payslips can be provided on or

the day before payday as a printed, written or electronic document to employees. However, The Employment Act amendment will not apply to salaries as they are paid for ‘periods’ of work.

7. Changes to immigration

statuses Post-Brexit Once the UK departs from the European Union, EU nationals will no longer be able move freely. Although businesses won’t see changes happen overnight, it is still important to prepare for the impact this may have on its employees. If EU workers have lived in the UK for over five years they will be

eligible to apply for a ‘settled status’. However, if they have not lived in the UK for at least five years they will only be able to apply for ‘temporary status’ which will allow them to live and work in the UK till they become eligible to apply for a settled status. Employers can prepare for this by finding out how many EU nationals you employ and make them aware they will need to apply.

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