• Final regulations were approved on 28th March increasing the penalty for aggravated breaches of employment rights from £5,000 to £20,000, with effect from 6 April 2019. These regulations also provide for two other changes to come into force from 6 April 2020: the extension of the right to a written statement to ‘workers’, and the reduction in the threshold for requesting an information and consultation procedure to 2% of total employees. Additional regulations have also been made bringing into force from 6 April 2020 the removal of the Swedish derogation for agency workers (meaning that all agency workers will have a right to pay parity after 12 weeks) and the requirement for agencies to give agency workers a key information document.
  • From 6 April 2019, the cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award increased from £83,682 to £86,444 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) increased from £508 to £525. This gives a maximum unfair dismissal award of £102,194 (subject to the additional cap on the compensatory award of 12 months’ pay). The Vento guidelines for injury to feelings awards have also been updated: with effect from 6 April 2019 the bands will be £900- £8,800 for less serious cases, £8,800 to £26,300 for middle band cases, and £26,300 to £44,000 for the most serious cases.
  • From 6 April 2019 the weekly rate of statutory sick pay increased to £94.25 per week (from £92.05) and from 7 April 2019 the weekly flat rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increased to £148.68 per week (from £145.18).
  • The national minimum wage rates increased from 1 April 2019. Workers of 25 years and older will be entitled to be paid a minimum national living wage of £8.21 per hour (increased from £7.83), the rate for workers aged 21-24 will be £7.70 per hour and the rate for those aged 18-20 will be £6.15 per hour.
  • From 6 April 2019, itemised payslips have to be given to ‘workers’ as well as employees, and include hours details for the hourly paid. BEIS has published guidance here.