Employment Law Updates—April 2019
From 6 April 2019, the minimum level of employer contribution into a pensions auto enrolment scheme increases from 2% to 3% with an increase to the employee contribution from 3 to 5%. The total minimum contribution therefore increases from 5% to 8%.
Two important changes to the rules on payslips come into force on 6 April 2019. The changes cover payslips for pay periods that begin on or after this date.
Firstly, payslips must include additional information for individuals whose pay varies depending on the number of hours that they have worked. Where an individual’s pay varies by reference to time worked, the payslip must set out the number of hours paid for on this variable basis.
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 should be shown. The hours can be shown either as a single total of all such hours in the pay period, or can be broken down into separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay.
Secondly, the right to a payslip is extended to all workers, rather than just employees, for pay periods that begin on or after 6 April 2019.
National Minimum Wage
The national living wage for workers aged 25 and over increases to £8.21 per hour on 1 April 2019.
Other national minimum wage rates also increase, with hourly rates rising to £7.70 for workers aged 21 to 24, to £6.15 for workers aged 18 to 20 and to £4.20 for workers under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age.
From 6 April 2019, the personal allowance increases from £11,850 to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold from £46,350 to £50,000.
Maternity, Paternity etc.
The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £148.68 for pay weeks commencing on or after 7 April 2019.
The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £94.25 from 6 April 2019.
Statutory Redundancy Pay
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 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. This amount is £525 from 6 April 2019.
Unfair Dismissal Compensation
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases from £83,682 to £86,444 for dismissals that take place on or after 6 April 2019.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Employers with 250 or more employees need to ensure that they have completed their report by 4 April 2019 for private-sector and voluntary sector employers, or 30 March for public sector employers.
The gender pay gap report must appear on the employer’s website in a publicly accessible manner and, once published, must remain there for at least three years.
Employers should also upload the gender pay gap results to the government’s reporting website. Although commentary on the gender pay gap results is not required, many organisations are choosing to add a narrative to help to put their numbers in context, particularly where there is a wide gender pay gap.
Once the deadlines pass, large employers that have not published their gender pay gap figures may face public criticism for failing to do so.