The Top 5 Biggest Employment Law Changes Coming In 2019
Every year, April brings with it a few certainties. St George’s Day, April Fools Day, Easter, Good Friday, National Stress Awareness Day and more importantly for employers the first of the year’s employment law changes. 2019 sees a few important changes which are going to impact everyone from CEO’s to gig workers, so it’s essential that you’re aware of these before we hit April.
What do you need to know about the new minimum wage? What’s going to happen with your employee’s payslips? Who do you need to give holiday pay to? Take a look at the below changes and see if you’re up to scratch:
A government review is calling upon a change to the law to enable more rights to ‘self employed’ workers. Although this seems a response to the rise in the gig economy the review has also looked at ‘piece’ workers – i.e. those that are paid according to the amount produced. The review will almost certainly consider companies such as Deliveroo and Uber who engage their drivers/bikers as self employed, which means
they have no employment rights, no sick pay and no holiday.
This review suggests a new category of employment status – the ‘dependent contractor’, which would allow them to obtain sick pay, holiday leave and guarantee the minimum wage. If the government implemented the suggested changes we would have a new category of worker in response to the gig economy.
Employment status has long been a grey area and this review seeks to clear the muddy waters particularly following a spate of cases on this very topic. Last year an employment tribunal ruled that Uber drivers were really workers and should receive basic rights such as sick pay and holiday pay, which did appear to shed light on the argument. Although Uber have appealed, the binding EAT ruling will hopefully provide further clarity and perhaps this government review will go even further in doing so.
CEO PAY GAP REPORTING
New legislation will also come into force in 2019 that requires companies with more than 250 employees to
publish their executive pay gap. Although the first reports are not expected until 2020, businesses should be calculating the necessary figures throughout 2019 to show the gap between the total amount paid to their CEO and the average pay for an employee. INCREASE IN NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
More than two million workers will see their pay jump next April as the National Living Wage jumps to £8.21 an hour. This is the hourly rate for those aged 25 or over – and working in Britain. The minimum wage for those aged 16-24 also will also go up, while the pay for apprentices will go up by an extra 20p an hour. It’s part of a long-standing Tory pledge to deliver a rate of £9-an-hour for over 25s by 2025. In the budget announcement this year, it was also announced the minimum wage for other age groups will go up from £7.38 to £7.70 for 21-24 year olds, from £5.90 to £6.15 for 18-20 year olds and from £4.20 to £4.35 for 16-17 year olds.
The increase in wages may have been pushed through by the government due to the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for hourly rate increases. Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding. The worker is still entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.
CHANGES TO PAYSLIPS FOR EMPLOYEES
Before April next year, employers must review their business and payroll data processes. Moving forward, all workers, including casual and zero hours workers, must be issued with written, printed or electronic payslips. On these payslips it must provide detail of how the payment was calculated in cases where the rate of pay and hours are variable. These government initiatives better enable employees to identify what they are being paid and equate that with worked time. It will also help employees better identify if their employer is meeting their minimum pay obligations.
REPORTING THE GENDER PAY GAP
All companies in Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland) with more than 250 employees are again reporting their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office (GEO). Companies will also publish details of the proportion of men and women in the company who receive bonuses and the breakdown of men and women in different pay quartiles. This years figures are expected to come under scrutiny to compare them to the previous year’s numbers, highlighting whether any major improvements have been implemented.
Still want to speak to an employment law expert to make sure you’re ready for the changes before April 2019? Get in touch on 08450 50 40 60.