Employment Law Changes in April 2019

Important 2019 employment law changes for all businesses.

In a year of many ‘unknowns’, the following are ‘knowns’ and are effective in April.

Increase in statutory rates

You will need to prepare for an increase to statutory rates in April. The National Living Wage, National Minimum Wage, Statutory Sick Pay and Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental Pay will all be increasing. This is the current  https://hillhr.co.uk/hillhr/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Statutory-Rates-Indicator-18-19.pdf which will be updated in April 2019.

Increase in Auto enrolment contributions

The minimum contributions you and your staff pay into your workplace pension scheme will increase from 6 April 2019. The new rate will be 3% employer minimum contribution and 5% staff contribution.

Changes to termination packages

In April there will be a change to all termination payments, including redundancy, PILON and other payments. Those exceeding £30,000 will be subject to employers NI, but not employees, NI.  Currently they are NI exempt.

Settled Status for EU nationals

European workers currently living in the UK will be able to apply for settled status in 2019, allowing them to remain indefinitely in the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period in 2021. To be granted settled status individuals must be able to prove they have been living in the UK for 5 years by the date of application. Those who do not meet this requirement can apply for temporary status, allowing them to remain until they have accrued enough residency to be granted settled status.

Payslips

Changes to the way employers issue payslips will also come into force on 6th April 2019. From this date payslips must be given to ‘workers’ and not just employees. Employers must include the total number of hours worked where the pay varies according the hours worked, for example under variable hours or zero hours contracts.

Good Work Plan

The government’s ‘Good work plan’, published in December 2018, made a commitment to increase the penalties for employers that repeatedly breach their employment law obligations. Tribunals have the power to impose a £5,000 ‘aggravated breach’ penalty on employers losing cases, and from 6 April 2019, the maximum limit on these penalties will rise to £20,000.

Trends in 2019

What ‘trends’ might we see in HR in 2019.

Agile or atypical working

We are likely to see more requests for flexible and fluid approaches to the working environment: where and when they do their roles and how that supports other things going on in their lives.

Personalisation
Staying on the theme of agile working, we are also likely to see staff wanting more ‘personalised’ employment conditions. They no longer want the same things, the same benefits or the same actions. A ‘one size fits all’ approach to terms and conditions of employment may start to be a thing of the past!

Skills shortages and recruitment affected by Brexit

Although there is ongoing uncertainty, Brexit is likely to affect skills shortages, and recruitment is going to be more of a challenge.

This may result in companies looking at more innovative ways of attracting and retaining talent. Investing in your existing people will also be key; considering a variety of ways of training and developing your people, to ensure companies are making the most of their skills.

Employee Experience and Engagement

Attracting and retaining good talent will be even more important in 2019.  In order to stay ahead, think of your employees as customers of your business.  Map out their experience when initially joining the company and throughout their time with your company.

If you have a question about any of this or worried how it might affect your business, please do not hesitate to drop me a line and ask.

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