Whilst Brexit currently dominates the headlines, there are a number of other upcoming changes  in 2019 that employers must be aware of.

1st April – National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The new National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will be: 

  • Workers aged 25 and over - £8.21 an hour (National Living Wage)
  • Workers aged 21-24 - £7.70 an hour
  • Development rate for workers aged 18-20 - £6.15 an hour
  • Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17 - £4.35 an hour
  • Apprentice rate (workers under 19 or in first year of apprenticeship) - £3.90 an hour.

4th April – Gender Pay Gap Reports (Private Sector)

Private sector employers in England, Scotland and Wales with 250 or more employees must publish data on pay disparities between men and women in their workforce. The first set of reports were published in 2018, and qualifying organisations must be ready to submit their second reports by 4 April 2019. Similar reporting requirements are due from public sector employers by 30 March 2019.

6th April - Itemised Pay Slips

From 6 April 2019, the entitlement to an itemised pay slip will be extended to workers, not just employees. Amongst other things, pay slip information must include the total number of hours worked where pay varies based on the hours someone completes. Government guidance on the changes can be viewed here.

6th April – Tribunal Penalties for Employers

The government’s Good Work Plan, announced in December 2018, promised penalties for employers that repeatedly breach their obligations towards employees. Tribunals have long had the power to impose a £5,000 penalty on employers that lose tribunal cases. From 6 April 2019, the maximum penalty will increase to £20,000.

6th April – Compensation Caps

 Tribunal compensation limits increase from 6 April 2019. The new rates are: 

  • Limit on a week’s pay – £525
  • Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment – £15,750
  • Minimum basic award for unfair dismissal – £6,408
  • Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal – £86,444

6th April – Sick Pay

Statutory sick pay is set to rise from £92.05 to £94.25 on 6 April 2019. The lower earnings limit for statutory sick pay will also rise from £116 to £118.

7th April – Statutory Payments

Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay will rise from £145.18 to £146.68 per week. The lower earnings limit will also rise from £116 to £118.

Employers must be ready to comply with these changes and should also be wary of developments expected in 2020, such as the introduction of bereavement leave, the changes to employer National Insurance Contributions on termination payments and the calls for ethnicity pay gap reporting.

If you need to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact our Employment team on 0161 941 4000 or by email lawyers@myerson.co.uk.