2019 will see new employment legislation introduced and amendments made to existing legislation. Here’s an overview of the main changes to be aware of:
Executive Pay Ratio Reporting
From January 2019, U.K. listed companies which employ more than 250 employees are required to publish the ratio between the total amount paid to their CEO and the average pay for an employee. This ratio will need to be reported on an annual basis.
The first ratio is to be published in 2020 as part of a company’s annual report for the 2019 financial year.
Increase to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
With effect from April 2019, the National Living Wage for working adults aged 25 or over will increase to £8.21 per hour (a rise of 4.9%).
The other National Minimum Wage rates will also increase as follows:
- Workers aged 21 to 24 - from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour
- Workers aged 18 to 20 - from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour
- Young workers aged 16 to 17 - from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour
- Apprenticeship rate - from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour
Gender Pay Gap Reports
Employers of 250 or more employees are required to publish their second annual gender pay gap report to the Government Equalities Office by 4 April 2019.
This year’s figures are expected to come under close scrutiny as they will be compared to the previous year’s figures, thereby highlighting whether any major improvements have been implemented by employers.
With effect from 6 April 2019, employers will be required to provide itemised payslips for employees and workers. The changes apply, in particular, to those employees and workers where pay varies according to the hours worked (for example, under variable or zero hours contracts).
Payslips will need to show the total number of hours for which the employee / worker is being paid (either by showing the combined number of hours worked for which payment is being made or by itemising the figures for different types of work undertaken and/or different rates of pay, as appropriate).
Increase to Aggravated Breach Penalty
From 6 April 2019, the maximum level of penalty that an Employment Tribunal can impose on an employer who repeatedly breaches their employment law obligations will increase from £5,000 to £20,000.
Tax on Termination Payments
From 6 April 2019, employers will be liable to pay Class 1A National Insurance contributions on any termination payments exceeding £30,000 that are subject to income tax by the employee.
New Statutory Rates
The following statutory rates will apply from 7 April 2019:
- Statutory sick pay will increase from £92.05 to £94.25 per week.
- The rate for statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and adoption pay will increase from £145.18 to £148.68 per week.
Applying for Settled Status for EU Nationals
From the end of March 2019, EU nationals who have 5 years’ continuous residence in the U.K. can apply for ‘settled status’. Once granted, EU citizens with settled status can continue to live in the U.K. indefinitely after June 2021.
Employers should continue to carry out right to work checks on all current and prospective employees in the normal way.