Heads up: 2019 Employment Law Changes

Now that you’ve settled back into work after the festive break, it’s time to make sure you’re aware of any legislative changes that might affect your business and the people working in it during 2019.

One of the many challenges of being an HR professional is keeping on top of your legal responsibilities. With a variety of legislative changes, new laws and, this year in particular, uncertainty about what your responsibilities as an employer might be after Brexit, it’s important to be up to speed.

Here, we’ve picked just five things to be aware of – there are more, however, so keep an eye on your professional publications to make sure you’re ahead of the game.

Itemised pay slips for all workers

At the moment, employees are entitled to a pay slip that breaks down the hours they have worked and the rate of pay for those hours. From April 6th 2019, this right will extend to all workers in your business, and your payroll system will need to reflect variable rates of pay-per-hour for this set of workers too. Start talking to your payroll provider now to make sure everything will work smoothly from the changeover date.

National wage increases

Both the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage will increase from April 1st 2019. The new rates are:

  • National Living Wage £8.21 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage (21-25) £7.70 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage (18-21) £6.15 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage (u18) £4.35 per hour
  • Apprentice rate £3.90 per hour

Changes to rules on EU workers

Whilst we don’t yet know the precise details of changes post-March 29th, there will certainly be a requirement to handle the employment of new workers from within the EU. This is likely to be the same as the current rules on employing any foreign national. Companies already employing workers from the EU should note that those employees will have to apply for ‘settled status’. This has a cost attached to it, which some employers are offering to pay – it might be worth looking at the number of EU nationals in your workforce and deciding whether this is something your company may also want to do.

 Executive pay gap reporting

From 2020, companies with more than 250 employees will have to report on the ratio between their CEO’s pay and benefits and those of its employees. Like the gender pay gap reporting, it could take a while to gather and analyse the relevant information in order to meet the deadline, so if your company qualifies, add it to your planning calendar so it doesn’t take you by surprise.

Parental bereavement leave

The government has said that, from April 2020, it will introduce the right for bereaved parents to take paid time off work. If your business already has a bereavement policy, it might be worth updating it in advance, or at least reviewing it to see what changes need to be made. If you don’t have a bereavement policy in place, it might be worthwhile putting one together during this year. It demonstrates your commitment as a caring employer, and will help you to comply with the new legislation when the time comes.

To find out more about any of the issues arising in 2019, or to talk to us about reviewing your policies, helping you with cultural change, or managing your HR function, contact us today.

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