There are numerous important employment law changes happening in April which are summarised as follows:-
Increase in National Minimum Wage
This increased to £8.21 per hour for workers over 25 from 1 April.
£7.70 per hour for workers aged 21 to 24 and 6.15 for workers aged 18-20. £4.20 for workers aged under 18
Rise in statutory sick pay
From 6 April 2019, statutory sick pay will increase from £92.05 per week to £94.25.
Rise in SMP, paternity pay and adoption pay
From 7 April 2019, statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and adoption pay will be increased from £145.18 per week to £146.68.
Increase in auto-enrolment contributions
- Minimum employer contribution to rise from 2% to 3%
- Minimum employee contribution to rise from 3% to 5%
Increase in a week’s pay
From 6 April 2019 there will be an increase in week’s pay for calculation of redundancy pay and for calculation of the basic award in the Employment Tribunal. The rate will rise from £508 to £525 and covers any dismissals arising after this date.
Update your payslips
From 6 April 2019 there are new rules covering payslips for pay periods that begin on or after this date.
Payslips must include additional information for individuals whose pay varies depending on the number of hours that they have worked. Where an individual’s pay varies by reference to time worked, the payslip must set out the number of hours paid for on this variable basis.
So, if you employ a worker who has a fixed salary every month but works a varying amount of overtime with additional pay at an hourly rate, the hours of overtime have to be shown.
Also the right to a payslip is extended to all workers, rather than just employees, for pay periods that begin on or after 6 April 2019.
Increase in injury to feelings awards
From 6 April 2019 for any cases presented on or after this date, the Vento guidelines which set out the bands of awards for injury to feelings awards for discrimination claims have been adjusted as follows:-
The new bands are:
- lower band (less serious cases): £900 to £8,800
- middle band: £8,800 to £26,300
- upper band (the most serious cases): £26,300 to £44,000
This emphasises the importance of taking advice when dealing with possible discrimination claims.
Unfair dismissal compensation
From 6th April 2019 the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will change from £83,682 – £86,444 or one years’ salary whichever is the lower), this applies to cases where the dismissal arises on or after 6 April 2019.
Where rates are mentioned in HR policies and documents, HR professionals will need to ensure that they are revised.