Seven changes to employment law in 2019 that you need to be aware of

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In the next year the world of employment law is going to be experiencing a number of big changes, with these changes potentially impacting on how much you earn. The turn of the year is an extremely busy period for businesses, and with this will come big changes in employment law.

1. Increase in national minimum wage rates

The first major change is the increase in national minimum wages. The increased wages come as a relief as inflation is increasing prices in day to day life. Workers that are aged 25 and older will be paid a wage of £8.21 which is an increase from £7.83 an hour. Employees aged between 21-24 will get a wage increase from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour and the hourly rate for 18-20 year olds will increase to £6.15 from £5.90 an hour.

If over compulsory school age but not yet 18 then there will be an increase in hourly wage from £4.20 to £4.35.

There is also a wage increase for apprentices, with the hourly rate increasing from £3.70 to £3.90 an hour, providing that the apprentice is under the age of 19 or 19 and over but only in their first year.

 2.  Settled Status for EU nationals

Workers that are from Europe but are currently living in the UK will be allowed to apply for ‘settled status’ in 2019. This would allow them to remain indefinitely within the UK once the end of the Brexit transition period has occurred in 2021. For those who want to apply for this will have to prove that they have been a resident of the UK for five years.

However, if people do not meet this requirement, they can apply for ‘temporary status’. This would allow them to remain in the UK until they have accrued five years of residency to be granted the ‘settled status’.

3. Increases to auto-enrolment contributions

In April 2019, the minimum contributions for auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase for both employers and employees. Under the new requirements, employees and employers will have to contribute a minimum amount of 5% and 3% respectively.

4. Changes to the way payslips are issued

Another change to employment law will be the way that payslips are issued. The legal right to a payslip will be extended to include those who are recognized as ‘workers’.

Additionally, employers will have to include the number of hours works on payslips for employees whose wages change depending on how many hours they have worked. This is to ensure that the only reason for pay differences is the amount of time spent working.

5. Gender pay gap reporting

Organisations that are private with 250 employees or more will have to publish their gender pay gap figures as of 4th April 2019. This will encourage employers to pay both female and male workers the same salary regardless of their gender.

The expectation is that the figures will be scrutinised in order to check whether efforts have been implemented to address any significant pay disparities.

6. CEO pay gap reporting

Similar to point number 6, the next change in employment law is CEO pay gap reporting. This new legislation will require companies that have more than 250 employees to publish their executive pay gap.

The start of this is not expected until 2020, however businesses that will be effected should start calculating figures throughout 2019 in order to show the gap between the total amounts paid to the CEO and the average pay for an employee.

7. Non-disclosure agreement

A non-disclosure agreement is often used as a method to silence people who may have claims of harassment or bullying. This is a legal way to make sure that they do not say anything regarding any wrongdoing.

The government is going to hold a review into the use of non-disclosure agreements in the workplace and the response may go some way to how they can be used in the future.


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