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Employment law changes 2019: the top priorities for HR managers

Part One: Changes in 2019

Happy New Year to all our readers!

Last year, GDPR and Brexit dominated the employment landscape.  While Brexit will continue to dominate this year, there are a number of small but important changes about which HR and senior managers should be aware.

There are also a number of significant changes coming into force in 2020 which businesses should start planning for this year – more on these in the second part of this two part blog.

What will happen to the status of EU nationals after Brexit?

EU nationals can continue to work in the UK after Brexit and will continue to be entitled to the current employment rights they have under UK law, even if there is ‘no deal’ by 29 March 2019.

However, EU nationals will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status between 30 March 2019 and 30 June 2021. Settled status relates to those who have resided in the UK for five years or more, whereas pre-settled status applies to those who have been in the UK for fewer than five years.

Executive pay gap reporting

Executive pay gap reporting came into force on 1 January 2019. This requires UK listed companies with more than 250 employees to report the pay gap between their CEO and their “average” UK worker.   The new requirements apply to reporting on all financial years starting on or after 1 January 2019 so it is expected the first annual reports will begin in 2020. Affected companies should therefore begin gathering their evidence to calculate their pay ratios in good time.

Itemised pay slips

Currently, the right to receive an itemised pay slip applies to employees only. However, from 6 April 2019 employers will be required to provide such slips to all workers including casual workers and those on a zero hour contract.

As well as providing the information that currently needs to be included in an itemised pay slip, an employer will also need to include the total number of paid hours worked and where pay varies in direct relation to the amount of time worked (i.e. individuals who work variable hours).

Changes to auto enrolment contributions

The minimum contributions that organisations and their staff pay into automatic enrolment workplace pension schemes are set to increase from 6 April 2019.

From 6 April 2019 onwards, the minimum employer contribution will be 3% and the minimum employee contribution will be 5%.

Changes to the National Minimum Wage

From April 2019, the National Minimum Wage is set to increase as follows:

25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
£8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90

 

If you want to find out more about how to prepare for these changes or what they might mean for you, please contact a member of  our Employment Team.

 

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