Business owners and HR personnel need to be aware of the imminent changes on or shortly after 1st April 2019 due to new employment legislation coming into force.

Key changes affecting employers are summarised below:

1. National minimum wage increases  – 1st April 2019

As of the 1st of April 2019, workers aged 25 and over are legally entitled to earn a minimum of £8.21 an hour. Other age band’s minimum wage have also increased; workers aged 21-24 up to £7.70 per hour, workers aged 18 – 20 are to be paid a minimum of £6.15 per hour and workers under 18 years old who are no longer of compulsory school age will have a minimum wage of £4.20 an hour.

2. Statutory family-related pay and sick pay rates increases – on or after 6th April 2019 & 7th April 2019

The weekly level of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay is increased to £148.68 for pay weeks commencing on or after 7th April 2019. Statutory sick pay will rise to £94.25 per week on 6 April 2019.

Employers need to make sure employees are paid the correct entitlements and review their policies that mention the rates, such as maternity policies and sickness absence procedures.

3. Statutory redundancy pay increases – 6th April 2019

New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6th April 2019.

Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy 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 £525.00 which is an increase from the previous rate of £508.00.

Employers should ensure that calculations for statutory redundancy payments are made on this basis for redundancy dismissals on or after 6th April 2019.

4. Payslips to be updated – 6th April 2019

There are changes to the rules on payslips on 6th April 2019. Payslips must include additional information for individuals whose pay varies depending on the number of hours they have worked.

For example, where a worker has a fixed salary each month, but works variable overtime with additional pay at an hourly rate, the hours of overtime must be shown.

5. Modern Slavery Statements

The Government wish to ensure that large organisations publish annual modern slavery and human trafficking statements. The current position is that there is a legal requirement for commercial organisations with a total turnover of at least £36 million per year to do so.

In 2018, the Home Office wrote to 17,000 businesses reminding them of their companies’ responsibility to publish an annual statement and warning them that “continued non-compliance will not be tolerated.”

The Government’s guidance recommends that statements be published within six months of the end of the organisation’s financial year. For example, if your organisation’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March, publication for the financial year ending 31 March 2019 is expected by 30 September 2019.

It is recommended that HR professionals in large companies should begin working with their corporate compliance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and public relations departments to produce their latest statement.

6. Brexit

Employers should continue to monitor development about Brexit as the UK political saga continues to rumble on! Changes to the rights of EU workers in the UK and for UK companies employing workers in EU countries are expected depending on whether a deal is agreed between the UK and the EU. We will keep you updated on any confirmed changes as we find out.

Farleys Solicitors LLP specialise in a commercial employment law & HR for businesses. Advice and support includes contracts of employment, staff handbooks, directors service agreements, apprentices, equal pay, recruitment, restructures, disciplinaries, grievances, employee exits, settlement agreements; and Employment Tribunal defence and representation.

If you require any assistance with any of the above please contact Farleys Employment Law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or email the team today.