April is set to bring with it a fresh batch of employment law developments that employers must be aware of, and adapt to, in order to remain compliant. As the month draws ever closer employers will need to be wary of these impending changes and it would be wise to dedicate time over the coming weeks to proactively prepare for these new requirements.
- National Minimum Wage
Having been announced as part of the 2018 Budget, both the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will increase in April 2019. Under the new NLW, the minimum hourly rate that workers aged 25 and over are entitled to will increase from £7.83 to £8.21, whilst those who qualify for the different NMW age bandings will also benefit from increases. It will be important for employers to review and amend their pay practices ahead of time to ensure NMW staff continue to receive the correct rate for their age.
- Statutory Sick Pay
The Government has also published increases to the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay in the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2019: From 6 April 2019, the statutory sick pay rate will increase from £92.05 per week to £94.25. From 7 April 2019, the statutory rate of maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay will increase from £145.18 per week to £148.68.
New legislation comes into force from 6 April 2019 requiring employers to provide an itemised payslip to all workers and show the hours worked on payslips where the worker’s pay varies depending on the number of hours they have worked. The government has also published guidance to help employers comply with the new legislation.
- Pension contributions
Employers’ approach to pensions will need adjusting in 2019 as the minimum auto-enrolment contributions will increase from 6 April 2019. Employers and workers will need to contribute three per cent and five per cent of an employee’s pre-tax salary respectively each month and payroll departments will need to be on the ball to avoid reprisals from the pension’s regulator.
- Tribunal pay-outs
The amount of money employees could be due for a successful tribunal claim will also increase from 6 April 2019. From this date, successful claims for unfair dismissal could result in a maximum compensation payout of £102,194 which means employers will need to be extra careful in making sure their procedures are fair and appropriate when taking disciplinary action.