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Recent Developments in Employment Law (Pt.2)

Itemised Pay Slips

Starting on 6 April 2019, all employees including workers will be entitled to an itemised pay slip.  This should show the total number of hours worked if the pay rate varies according to the number of hours worked.

Statement of Employment Particulars

Whilst not technically a change as this obligation is currently in force, it is worth reminding employers that employees should be provided with a written statement of employment particulars if they have been continuously employed for at least one month.  This statement should be provided to the employee before they reach two months’ of continuous employment.

With effect from 6 April 2020 all workers will be entitled to statement of employment particulars from day one of their employment.

Increase in employer penalties

Currently an employment tribunal can award a penalty of up to £5,000 if an employer has breached an employee’s rights and done so in an aggravated way.  This includes repeatedly breaching the employee’s rights or acting deliberately in breach.

On 6 April 2019 the maximum penalty will increase to £20,000.

Tribunal compensation limits

With effect from 6 April 2019 the limits will be:

  • A week’s pay (for calculating redundancy pay and the unfair dismissal basic award) will be capped at £525
  • The maximum statutory redundancy payment will increase to £15,750
  • The maximum basic award for unfair dismissal will increase to £15,750
  • The minimum basic award for dismissal due to trade union; health and safety; occupational pension scheme trustee; employee representative ,or working time grounds will be £6,408
  • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will be capped at £86,444, or one year’s gross pay depending on which is lower.

Agency Workers opt-out (“Swedish derogation”)

From 6 April 2020 businesses will no longer be able to opt out of equal pay requirements when using agency workers instead of permanent staff.

Annual leave

From 6 April 2020 the reference period for calculating the average week’s pay will be increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.  This is to help improve the holiday pay conditions for seasonal workers.

Taxation of termination payments

From 6 April 2020, employers will have to pay National Insurance contributions on any termination payments over £30,000.

Parental bereavement provision

Employed parents are currently entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant, including dealing with their death, from day one of their employment.

In 2020, we expect a new law to come into force entitling an employee to two weeks’ unpaid leave in the event they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy.  The exact date is yet to be confirmed but the right will apply from day one of their employment.

National Minimum Wage / Living Wage Increase

On 1 April 2019 the NMW / LW will increase to:

  • £4.35 per hour for workers aged 16 – 17 years old.
  • £6.15 per hour for workers aged 18 – 20 years old.
  • £7.70 per hour for workers aged 21 – 24 years old.
  • £8.21 per hour for workers aged 25 and older.

We hope that this has given a good overview of the changes.  If you would like any further details or have any questions on how they affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Rachel O’Connor, Director at J:E Solicitors