April shower of changes in employment legislation

April will see the introduction of several notable changes in employment legislation and we’ve listed a few key obligations that employers need to prepare for.

Apart from the national minimum wage increases, there will also be law changes governing maternity pay and redundancy payments.

Gender pay gap reporting and modern slavery statements obligations need to be adhered to by larger employers. It is also noteworthy that the maximum tribunal claim will increase to £102,194, which should further incentivise employers to ensure policies and procedures are in order.

Employment legislation changes for the UK in April 2019 that are most important for employers to note are as follows:

  1. National Living Wage (minimum wage increase)
  2. Payslips procedures changes
  3. Statutory sick pay and family-related pay changes
  4. Changes to limits on statutory redundancy pay
  5. Pensions auto-enrolment contributions increase

Updating of payslips procedures

There are two important changes surrounding the issuing of payslips from April 6, 2019 onwards.

1. All new payslips issued on or after this date must provide additional information for workers with varying pay in accordance with the number of hours worked. The payslip is required to clearly state the number of hours paid for. For example, in cases where workers receive fixed salaries each month but work varying hours of overtime where additional pay is received at an hourly rate, the hours worked as overtime should be detailed in the payslip. The employer has discretion to display the hours as a single total of all such hours in the pay period or to break them down into separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay.

2. For pay periods that begin on or after April 6, all workers are entitled to receive a payslip rather than just employees of the organisation.

Increases to family-related pay and statutory sick pay

Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £148.68 weekly for pay weeks beginning after April 6, 2019. The statutory sick pay weekly rate increases to £94.25 from April 6, 2019. It’s important that employers review their policies and documents to mention the new rates. These will include maternity policies and sickness absence Updating of payslips procedures.

Statutory redundancy pay calculations

From April 6, new limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force. Employers must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount of £525 and employers should make sure that calculations are made.

Pensions auto-enrolment contributions increase

From April 6, 2019, the minimum employer contribution into a pensions auto-enrolment scheme will increase from 2% to 3%. The minimum employee contribution will increase from 3% to 5%. These increases will lead to a total minimum contribution hike of between 5% and 8%.

Modern slavery statements

The publication of annual modern slavery and human trafficking statements is now a legal requirement for commercial organisations with annual turnovers of £36m and more. There is no timetable for publication, but the government recommends that statements are completed and made public within six months of the end of the organisation’s financial year.

Gender pay gap reporting deadlines

If your company employs 250 people or more, the deadline is fast approaching for the publication of your second gender pay gap report. April 4 is the cut off for private and voluntary sector employers to publish a second gender pay gap report.

The deadline for employers operating in the public sector is March 30, 2019. The regulations require the publication of the gender pay report on the employer’s website, where it must remain for a minimum of three years.

The results found in the report must also be uploaded to the government’s reporting website. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) states that all companies with 250 or more staff must publish the difference between the median hourly pay of men and that of women employed by the organisation.

Many organisations are choosing to add commentary to their reports to add context to their figures – particularly in instances where a wide gender pay gap exists. The EHRC has threatened enforcement action on employers who fail to comply with the possibility of “unlimited fines”. Employers that do not publish their figures may also be open to public criticism for failing to do so.

Want further information on these changes?

If you would like further information on the employment law changes get in touch with the HR Team today on +44 2871 271 882.