If you require detailed advice on a specific area of the Employment Legislation, please contact the Quest Employment Team for help. Alternatively, if you are interested in one of the Quest HR products, please contact our Sales and Marketing Team.
There are also some useful links below for checking current statutory rates and thresholds i.e. National Minimum Wage, tax and NIC, maternity, paternity and adoption pay; statutory sick pay.
Since the new Conservative Government came into power, there has been very little new employment legislation placed on the statute book. The EU referendum has also meant that it may be some time until we see a great deal of change to the employment law landscape.
However, whilst the post Brexit adjustments to employment legislation may well be far reaching, we may have to wait until 2018 or beyond for any substantial new provisions. With the next election not expected until 2020, we can though expect the Government to implement some key legislative initiatives to further regulate the employment framework before a possible change of government .
The changes to employment law are listed below
The changes under this plan will strengthen UK employment rights and employers must plan to prepare for this change, which is expected to come into force in April 2020. The plan focuses on fair and decent work; as part of that improving communication and certainty in the working relationship was key. Therefore, it will now be mandatory to include information about workers’ rights in the written statement of employment. The following points, in addition to the current mandatory information that must be provided, will be required in a written statement (commonly referred to as a contract of employment) issued to all workers (not just employees) on or by the first day of employment:
Employees will have the right to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of employment. This is most likely to benefit casual or zero-hour workers.
Extending the break in continuous service from one week to four weeks to help employees who work irregular hours to qualify for more employment rights that require a particular length of service.
Protecting agency workers – Agency workers are entitled to the same level of pay as a permanent worker after 12 weeks service unless the agency worker opts out of this right and elects to receive a guaranteed level of pay between their temporary assignments (Swedish Derogation). This opt out will be removed from April 2020 as agency workers are financially worse off when taking this route.
The reference period used to calculate holiday pay will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks, which is important for individuals who work variable hours.
Recently, the Government press release has confirmed the Early May Bank Holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day. If you require your employees to work on Friday 8th May, you must communicate and consult with your employees to inform them this will be a normal working day and provide them with an alternative day off.
Regardless of whether UK’s exit deal is agreed the rules around the employment of EU nationals will change at some point. This means there will not free movement of EU nationals. The government has introduced a scheme where EU workers that ate already working in the UK can apply for ‘Settled Status’ to be able to live and work in the UK indefinitely.
However for recruiting EU nationals going forward they will be subject to restrictions the same as other foreigners living outside of the EU. Therefore employers would need to assess their recruitment strategy and review processes and policies for recruitment and retention.
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 provides for at least two weeks' leave for employees following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees with 26 weeks' continuous service will be entitled to paid leave at the statutory rate and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave.
From 6 April 2019, new legislation under the Employment Rights Act 1996 will impact employers on how they provide payslips to their workforce. Under the new changes, employers are required to provide itemised payslips to workers under their payroll and not just employees. There are some limited exclusions from the right to receive a payslip such as members of armed forces or merchant seamen and women.
Employers are required to include the total number of hours worked where pay varies according to the hours worked. For example, workers who are paid by the hour, day rate workers, overtime paid at additional rates, and zero hour workers. If an employee is contracted to 30 hours per week and they work an additional five hours, you would only be required to show the five hours on the payslip since the 30 hours pay would not vary. However, the total hours or a breakdown of hours may be shown if helpful to do so. The payslip must also show which pay period this refers to.
Alternatively, such cases may amount to pay varying due to a departure from the normal working and pay arrangement caused by unpaid leave or statutory sick pay. For example, a salaried employee receives pay in equal monthly instalments decides to take five days unpaid leave and the employer deducts these five days from the employee’s salary. There is no requirement for the employer to show the hours on the payslip since the pay does not vary depending on the hours worked but the pay has varied, due to a departure from normal working and pay arrangements.
What else must your payslips show?
If a worker thinks they have not received a payslip or lacks the information required, they are entitled to bring a claim before the Employment Tribunal.
Employment Tribunal Awards from 6TH April 2019
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £83,682 to £86,444. Consequently, for any dismissals which take effect on or after 6 April 2019, the maximum cap on the compensatory award will be the lower of £86,444 or 52 weeks’ pay. The limit on a week’s pay used to calculate certain statutory payments and provisions will rise from £508 to £525. As a result, the maximum basic award / statutory redundancy payment will be £15,750. Employment Tribunal penalties- maximum penalties for aggravated breach increase from £5,000 to £20,000.
From 7th April 2019 Statutory maternity paternity, adoption and shared parental leave pay rates increase from £145.18 to £148.68 per week.
Statutory Sick pay increases from £92.05 to £94.25 per week.
National Minimum Wage – From 1st April 2019 will see increases:
Companies that have more than 250 employees need to provide a snapshot report on their ender pay gap annually, 31st March 2019 for public sector organisations and 5th April 2019 for private sector organisatuions.
From 1 January 2019 mean that UK companies with more than 250 employees will have to report on the difference between the CEO and all employees' pay and benefits.
The report will be for January 2020, however, affected companies should gather their information ahead of time to be able to calculate their pay rations before the deadline.
The Government plans to exclude certain employers from claiming the Employment Allowance for a period of one year if:
The Government announced proposals in 2016 to extend Shared Parental Leave to allow grandparents to take time off work to help with childcare. No final details or date for implementation have yet been announced.
The Government is aiming to introduce an apprenticeship levy for larger public and private employers in the UK to help to fund up to £3 million new apprenticeships during the life of the current Parliament.
The proposals include setting a rate at 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill across all sectors of industry and commerce. The intention is that the levy will only be payable on a pay bill in excess of £3 million. Employers with an annual pay bill less than £3 million will not pay anything. However, a ‘levy allowance’ of £15,000 per year is also being proposed. This means that the total amount an employer will spend is 0.5% of their pay bill, minus £15,000.
All private and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland who have at least 250 employees will be mandatorily required to publish information on any differences in pay rates between men and women in their employment.
The information will be based on the level of each relevant employee’s pay as at April 2017. Going forward, the rates must be reported at every subsequent April.
The Government announced in the Autumn Statement that the following increases to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage would apply
National Living Wage rate for workers aged over 25 years will increase to £7.50 per hour.
National Minimum Wage:
Rates and thresholds for employers 2015 to 2016 and also 2016 to 2017
Includes: PAYE tax and NIC, thresholds, rates and codes; NMW; maternity, paternity and adoption pay; statutory sick pay; student loan recovery; company cars; mileage allowance payments
In essence, Employment Law sets out with the responsibilities of employers alongside the rights of their employees. In the UK, there are three main sources of the legal principles that relate to employment
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