In April there are Employment Law changes that you need to be aware of.
- National Living Wage rise
- Gender pay gap reports to be published
- Rise in statutory sick pay
- Rise in Employment tribunal penalties
- Increase in pension contributions
- Changes to payslips
- Increase in statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave
National Minimum Wage to increase from 1st April
The statutory national minimum wage for those aged 25 and over will increase 4.9% from 1 April 2019 from £7.83 to £8.21.
The Treasury says the annual earnings of a full-time minimum wage worker will have increased by over £2,750 since the introduction of the NLW in April 2016.
The rises for other age brackets are:
- 21-24 year olds 4.3% increase from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour
- 18-20 year olds by 4.2% increase from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour
- 16-17 year olds by 3.6% increase from £4.20 to 4.35 per hour
- Apprentices by 5.4% increase from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour
- Accommodation offset by 7.9% increase from £7.00 to £7.55
There is time to make the changes to your payroll but be mindful of any deductions in pay for uniforms or equipment. This could possibly nudge your employee below the Minimum Wage.
2019 Gender Pay Gap Reporting – 5th April
Gender pay gap reporting became mandatory for private employers with 250 employees or more as of 6 April 2017. The second reporting date is approaching fast.
If your 2019 results show a lack of improvement there are steps for you to consider in order to reduce this gap in the future.
Identify the cause
There could be many reasons for a difference in average pay between men and women. You may employ more men than women in senior roles or more women than men in part-time positions. It is important to understand each reason in order to action change. Although the gender pay gap and equal pay are separate issues, unequal pay can influence the gender pay gap.
Review your internal policies
It is worth reviewing your internal workplace attitudes to address pay gap issues. For example, if you have more men employed at senior levels, it is worth looking at the reasons why. Maybe women are discouraged from applying for senior positions. At the same time it may be time to consider implementing policies and job descriptions encouraging flexible work. At present there are few senior roles available for those who wish to work part-time so to offer flexible time at a senior level could encourage more women to take on these roles.
Your recruitment process
You should ensure you remove bias from any hiring or promotion process and how you choose who to interview. Are you inviting an equal number of men and women for interview for any given role? Do you have a transparent internal recruitment process, a gender-balance interview panel and anonymous CVs/application forms?
Rise in statutory sick pay – 6th April
From 6th April the minimum sick pay that an employee receives increases from £92.05 to £94.25 per week. An employee receives this if they have been too ill to work for four days or more and it is paid for up to 28 weeks.
Employment Tribunal penalties rise – 6th April
The number of employment tribunals in the UK has risen by 118% in the last few years possibly from when the fees regime was abolished in July 2017.
Bad employees can now be forced to pay up to a £20,000 penalty for breaking employment laws.
Pension contributions increase – 6th April
From the 6th each employee will need to pay at least 5% of their pre-tax salary into their wok pension. Each employer is required to put in an extra 3% which is up from 2% last year.
Payslip changes – 6th April
Up until now an employer only had to give an itemised payslip to an employee – from the 6th, all workers require this covering pay periods which begin on or after 6th April.
All payslips are required to be itemised showing how much an employee has been paid and what deductions have been made. The amount and method of any payment must also be made clear. Additional information must be shown on a payslip for workers whose pay varies depending on the number of hours they have worked.
A worker who thinks that they have not received a payslip, or the payslip they have received lacks the required information, can bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal. If the tribunal agrees it may order repayment of unnotified deductions made in the 13 weeks preceding the claim.
Changes to statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave – 7th April
The minimum pay for employees on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave increases from £145.18 to £148.68 per week.
For any help or information on any of the above please contact our employment department.
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