In amongst Brexit-related uncertainty and dodging Spring showers, we round-up the main changes to employment law due to take effect in April 2019 in our 'at-a-glance' table.
SUMMARY AND IMPACTS
1. National minimum wage: rates increase
The national minimum wage hourly rates will be increased as follows:
1 April 2019
National Living Wage rate (for workers aged 25+): increase from 7.83 to 8.21.
Workers aged 21 25: increase from 7.38 to 7.70.
Workers aged 18 20: increase from 5.90 to 6.15.
Workers aged 16 17: increase from 4.20 to 4.35.
Apprentice rate: increase from 3.70 to 3.90.
In addition, the accommodation offset will increase from 7.00 to 7.55.
2. Pensions: auto-enrolment minimum From 6 April 2019 the minimum contribution rates for defined contribution schemes will
contributions set to increase
increase to 3% for employers (previously 2% as of 6 April 2018) and to an overall total of 8% (previously 5% as of 6 April 2018) in respect of jobholders' qualifying earnings.
6 April 2019
The earnings trigger will remain at 10,000. The qualifying earnings lower limit will be 6,136 and the upper limit will be 50,000.
3. Itemised pay statements to be given to all These regulations will require itemised pay statements to:
be given to all workers (not just employees); and
6 April 2019
contain information regarding the number of hours worked by the worker for which they are being paid. However, this will only apply where the worker's pay varies according to the number of hours worked.
Section 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 will be amended by The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) Order 2018 SI 2018/147 and The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2018. The Government has published guidance on how the new regime will apply in different scenarios.
4. Tribunal compensation limits will increase Various increased compensation limits for employment tribunal claims will come into force 6 April 2019
on 6 April 2019. For example, the maximum amount of a week's pay (used for calculating various awards including statutory redundancy payments and unfair dismissal bas ic awards) will increase to 525 and the maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase to 86,444.
The changes will come into effect under the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2019.
5. National Insurance Contribution limits will The lower earnings limit in respect of primary class 1 contributions will increase from 116 6 April 2019
to 118 and the upper earnings limits in respect of primary class 1 contributions will
increase from 892 to 962.
The changes will come into effect under the draft Social Security (Contributions) (Rates, Limits and Thresholds Amendments and National Insurance Funds Payments) Regulations 2019.
6. Financial penalties for aggravated breach The maximum financial penalty available for an aggravated breach of a worker's
6 April 2019
of a worker's employment rights will employment rights will increase from 5,000 to 20,000. The increased penalty will only
increase from 5,000 to 20,000
apply to breaches occurring on or after 6 April 2019.
The change will be implemented by the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments)
Regulations 2019 (draft). These regulations will amend the Employment Tribunals Act 1996
7. Increased rates of statutory payments for The weekly rates for various statutory payments will be increased as follows:
SSP = 6 April
sick leave (to 94.25 per week) and family
Statutory sick pay (SSP): increase from 92.05 to 94.25.
leave (to 148.68 per week)
Statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory adoption pay (SAP) SAP and
and shared parental pay statutory shared parental pay (SSPP): increase from 145.18 to SSPP = 7 April
Statutory maternity allowance (SMA): increase from 145.18 to 148.68. The changes will come into effect under the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2019 (draft).
SMA = 8 April 2019