29 March 2019

Employment Law Changes

In April 2019, new employment laws in place will change how you work. There will be a rise in the National Living and National Minimum Wage, bigger pension contributions and a major overhaul to payslips. Build UK partner Croner, has provided information on the National Living Wage going up, as well as other laws you need to know about.

Here are legal changes you need to know about:

Monday 1 April: National Living Wage goes up

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage go up by 4.9% for all age groups:

  • £8.21 per hour for workers aged 25 and over (up from £7.83)
  • £7.70 per hour for workers aged 21 to 24 (up from £7.38)
  • £6.15 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20 (up from £5.90)
  • £4.35 per hour for workers aged under 18 (up from £4.20)
  • £3.90 per hour for apprentices (up from £3.70)

Thursday 4 April: Businesses must publish gender pay gap reports

Private sector businesses with 250 or more staff must have published their gender pay gaps by Thursday 4 April (public sector organisations should have published their gender pay gaps by the Sunday 31 March).

Friday 5 April: Consultation closes on redundancy protection for pregnant employees

This one’s not an immediate legal change, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. If the law comes into force, a woman will get protection from redundancy from the point that she informs her employer she is pregnant until six months after her maternity leave. It may also apply to adoptive and other parental leave.

Saturday 6 April: Statutory sick pay goes up

The minimum sick pay that you need to give staff who are too ill to work increases from £92.05 to £94.25 per week. You need to give your worker sick pay if they have been too ill to work for four days or more, and you need to pay it for up to 28 weeks.

Employment tribunal penalties balloon to £20,000

Tribunals can now force bad employers to pay a whopping £20,000 penalty for repeatedly breaking employment laws. The number of employment tribunals in the UK has risen by 118% in recent years.

Pension contributions increase to 8%

Employees now needs to put at least 5% of their pre-tax salary into their pension. Employer have to put in an extra 3% (up from 2% last year). Or, depending on the rules of the company pension scheme, employers can pay the full 8%.

Changes to payslips

Itemised payslips must be given to all workers. Previously, payslips only had to be given to employees.

Itemised payslips break down workers and employees’ pay to show how much employers have given and what deductions have been made. This must include the amount and method of any part-payment.

The number of hours worked must be included if workers’ pay varies depending on the amount of time they have worked.

If workers aren’t given itemised payslips, a tribunal can declare that you have breached your workers’ rights and then force you to repay your workers in respect of any deductions made. And itemised payslips make it much easier for HMRC to spot and prosecute businesses that pay below the National Minimum Wage (which, as mentioned above, is increasing in April).

Sunday 7 April: Statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave increases

The minimum pay employers need to give staff on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave increases from £145.18 to £148.68 per week. The average earnings that an employee has to make to receive these payments also increases from £116 to £118 per week.

Need help making 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.