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Changes to Employment Law in 2019

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These are some of the changes in respect of Employment law that we can expect to see to come into effect within the early part of 2019:

  • Increase in National Minimum Wages Rates

Both national living wage and national minimum wage rates will increase in April 2019.

Those aged 25 and over will see an increase in their national minimum hourly rate from £7.83 to £8.21.

Staff employed between the ages of 21 and 24 will see their national minimum hourly rate increase from £7.38 to £7.70.

Those aged over 18 will be entitled to a national minimum hourly rate of £6.15, an increase from £5.90.

Those over compulsory school age but not yet 18 will experience an hourly increase from £4.20 to £4.35.

The minimum rate for apprentices will also increase from £3.70 an hour to £3.90 an hour, providing the apprentice is under the age of 19, or 19 and over but in the first year of their current apprenticeship.

  • Increases to Statutory Family and Sick Pay Rates

The weekly amount for statutory family pay rates is expected to increase to £148.68 in April 2019.  This new rate of pay will apply to paternity pay, maternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay.

The rate of weekly statutory sick pay is also expected to increase to £94.25 in April 2019.

  • Itemised Pay Statements to Workers

From April 2019, the right to an itemised pay statement will be extended to all workers and not just employees.

Additionally, if a staff members pay varies according to time worked, the employee must include on the itemised pay statement the total number of hours worked for which pay rate is received.

  • Increases to Auto-Enrolment Contributions

In April 2019 the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase for both employers and employees. Currently employers must contribute a minimum of 2% with individuals contributing 3% themselves.

However employers and employees will now have to contribute a minimum of 3% and 5% respectively.

  • Executive Pay Reporting

Changes coming into force on 1 January 2019 will mean companies who employ more than 250 employees will have to report the ratios between the CEO and the average employees’ pay and benefits.

This requirement applies to financial year beginning 2019 so the first reports will be published in 2020.

  • Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Earlier this year, Royal Assent was given to Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 which is predicted to come into force in April 2020.  However, it wold be a good idea for employers to start preparing for this during 2019, or even drafting their own bereavement leave policy if they do not already have one.

Under the current proposal, bereaved parents will be entitled to take leave as a single two-week period, as two periods of one week, or as a single week.  The bereaved parents have 56 weeks from the date of their child’s death to take this leave.