24 January 2019

Employment Law: What to expect in 2019

Build UK partner Croner has listed some of the changes employers should be mindful of in 2019.

Pay Reporting

New legislation will require UK businesses with more than 250 employees to report the pay gaps between their CEO’s and the average employee. Alongside this, companies will be required to publish supporting and explanatory information to ‘justify’ their CEO salaries.

For a second year, companies with 250 employees will be required to publish their gender pay gap figures on 4 April 2019. Although many will be doing this for a second time, these figures are expected to be heavily scrutinised in order to determine whether efforts have been made to address previous highlighted discrepancies.

With the deadline fast approaching, if you haven’t already, you should start preparing your reports now. Where pay gaps become apparent, consider what justification can be given and what actions can be taken to narrow these gaps.

Financial Increases and Payslips

National minimum wage is due to increase by 4.9% from £7.80 to £8.21 for workers over the age of 25. Workers under 25 will also receive an increase of wages from 1 April 2019.

From 6 April 2019, statutory sick pay (per week) will rise from £92.05 to £94.25.

Also on 6 April, new legislation will change how UK employers provide payslips to their workforce. Under this new legislation, employers will need to provide itemised payslips to all workers. The new payslips must include the number of hours worked where the workers’ pay varies by the amount of time they have worked.

In preparation of this change, you should review your payroll systems to ensure they are up-to-date and in line with the new changes.

Auto Enrolment Contributions

From 6 April the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase for both employers and employees. Under these new requirements employers must contribute a minimum of 3% of an eligible worker’s pre-tax salary to their pension pot, with the individual contributing 5% themselves.

EU Settlement Scheme

Britain is set to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. As it stands Brexit shouldn’t have a great deal of impact on employment law as the government have committed to keeping the majority of the EU laws relating to employment.

If Britain is to leave the EU with a deal, EU nationals with 5 years UK residency by 31 December 2020 will be entitled to apply for ‘settled status’. Those with less than 5 years’ residency can apply for ‘pre-settled status’.

In the event of a no-deal, the dates for the settlement scheme will change and a new immigration policy will be put into place with effect from March 2019.

Practical steps you can take include reviewing your workforce. Do you employ EU nationals currently or plan to do so in future? You should also remain well informed of the ongoing Brexit developments and the implications it may have on your business short term and long term.

Need help preparing for the changes?

As part of your membership with Build UK you can speak to a Croner expert for help with any of the above issues, including pay gap reporting, changes to payslips, worker rights, Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme.

You can speak to Croner on  0844 561 8133 quoting the Build UK member code. For a full list of Build UK helplines and member codes, please email info@BuildUK.org.