What changes will there be to Employment Law in 2019?

2019 is here and with the New Year comes changes.

In this post about changes to employment law, the employment law solicitors at Foys explain a number of topics and developments in 2019, including:

  • The introduction of executive pay gap reporting
  • Brexit and EU Settlement Scheme
  • The increase in the national minimum wage
  • Payslip changes

Executive pay gap reporting

As of 1 January 2019, UK-listed companies with more than 250 UK employees will be legally obliged to disclose the salaries of their chief executives and compare them against the average UK worker. To be precise, they must report on the pay difference between a CEO and the full-time UK employees from the 25th, 50th and 75th pay percentile. In addition, this pay gap will have to be justified, meaning that directors will have to show what effect an increase in share price will have on executive pay and whether they are doing enough to earn their pay packets. As this requirement applies to financial year beginning on or after 1 January 2019, meaning companies will start publishing the pay ratios in 2020.

Brexit and EU settlement scheme

The official exit date for the UK from the EU is 29 March 2019. Although the current plan involves having a transition period of 21 months, the UK government has published the EU Settlement Scheme where EU citizens and their families will need to apply for their settled status in the UK before 30 June 2021. To be eligible for settled status, proof of continuous residence is key – one will need to prove that one has lived in the UK for at least six months in any 12-month period over a total of five years.

If your EU employees have lived and worked in the UK for less than five years, they can apply for pre-settled status first, then apply to change their status after reaching five years.

Minimum wage

The national minimum living wage will increase, with the following being the official values from the 2018 budget:

  • Workers aged 25 and over – £8.21 an hour (National Living Wage)
  • Workers aged 21-24 – £7.70 an hour
  • Development rate for workers aged 18-20 – £6.15 an hour
  • Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17 – £4.35 an hour
  • Apprentice rate (workers under 19 or in the first year of apprenticeship) – £3.90 an hour.

These will come into effect on 1 April 2019.

Payslip changes

On 6 April 2019, two major changes will come into effect for employee payslips. The first is a change to the information they display: they must now show the total hours worked in cases where the pay varies according to the hours worked, like for variable-hour or zero-hour contracts. Secondly, all workers must receive payslips, including contractors and freelancers rather than just employees. The aim is to make wages more understandable and easier to challenge, especially in the case of zero-hour contracts.

Talk to an employment law expert

As an employer, understanding employment law is crucial to your business’ success and retaining employees. We can give you impartial legal advice on any of the following issues:

  • Contracts of employment
  • Employee handbooks and policies
  • Defending employment tribunal claims pursued by employees, i.e. unfair dismissal and discrimination
  • Advice on redundancy procedures
  • Disciplinary and grievance issues
  • Dismissing or disciplining an employee
  • Drafting and dealing with settlement agreements
  • Variation of contract terms
  • Discrimination
  • Business transfers (TUPE)
  • Breach of restrictions by an employee

Our expert employment law advice applies to employees as well as employers. If you are an employee and you want to know what you are entitled to, contact the specialist employment solicitors for employees at Foys. We can help you understand what your rights are, and how they are going to change in 2019.

To find out more, get in touch by filling out our Online Form, or contact your local office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

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