Potential 2019 Employment Law Changes What Employment Law Changes Should We Expect in 2019?
At ELAS, we know that the only thing anyone is thinking of as we head towards
29th March 2019 is Brexit, if the UK will be leaving the EU and how we’ll be doing it. Countless column inches, clickbait headlines & seemingly never ending hours of news streams have been dedicated to the many permutations of Brexit. Whether you’re a staunch Brexiteer or a proud Remainer, at this stage no one actually knows how Brexit will affect us as a nation or as a business. And this article isn’t to discuss, debate or speculate on how Brexit will affect UK employment law. In fact, this article isn’t even to discuss the definitive employment law changes that we will see in 2019, we’ve already done that and you can find that here!
After 2018 proved to be a hectic year for employment law changes, with a new new Code of Practice to combat
workplace sexual harassment, gender pay gap reforms and continuing changes to the gig economy, what employment law changes do we think could potentially see in 2019? NDA’s
Harvey Weinstein scandal and similar grotesque abuses of non disclosure agreements (NDA’s), the British government have brought forward their review into the use (or misuse) of NDA’s within the workplace. Whilst an NDA can be used to prevent internal business practices from being leaked to competitors or protect intellectual property, they are also very blatantly being misused to protect high powered individuals and cover up up their misdeeds. Given how prevalent these claims have become in the mainstream media, we expect the British government to make an announcement following their review at some point in 2019 and, whilst NDA’s are perfectly legal, the government’s response may change how businesses can use them moving forward. National Minimum Wage Entitlement For Sleep In Shifts
Although the Court of Appeal ruled that individuals working on sleep in shifts would not be entitled to the National Minimum Wage (
Mencap v Tomlinson Blake) in 2018, we may see that change this year. A request to appeal this decision has been lodged by Unison and we could well see this decision overturned upon appeal. If overturned, this would mean that sleep in workers would now be entitled to National Minimum Wage and would be paid for the time they’re ‘available for work’ and not just the time actually spent working. Any ruling on this decision will potentially have massive ramifications across the health care industry, so keep an eye on this one. The Status Of EU Nationals Within The UK
Ok, we tried to not include any Brexit predictions but this one is happening so it’s worth mentioning! From 30th March 2019 European workers currently living within the UK will be able to apply for settled status, which would enable them to
live and work in the UK. As it stands, EU citizens may be granted settled status within the UK if they can prove they’ve been living within the UK for the last 5 years. This could potentially be important news within industries that typically rely heavily on immigrant workers. Equal Pay Disputes Plaguing British Supermarkets
Over the last few years, many of our leading supermarket chains have faced
equal pay tribunal claims from employees. At some point in 2019 we’re expecting to see decisions made in many of these cases and if the courts rule against them, it could result in the supermarkets facing huge payouts and an huge influx of tribunal claims against them as more and more present and former staff look to take advantage. This could potentially cost supermarkets billions, similar to how the PPI scandals rocked the banking industry and will be big news, whatever the outcome. Keeping Track Of Your Staff
Let’s finish things with something a bit……different? In 2019 we could witness businesses actively
micro chipping their staff! We know, this sounds more like an episode of Black Mirror or some outlandish Sci-Fi movie but back in November it was reported that several legal and financial companies were in talks with a Scandinavian company to fit 1,000’s of British workers with sub dermal microchips. Whilst this may not be actively happening right now, by the end of the year we could truly be living in 3019! What do you think? Will any of these result in employment law changes that could affect your business? Let us know in the comments or call us today on 08450 50 40 60 and speak to one of our employment law consultants!