Annual employment law changes 2019. Prepare now.

Annual employment law changes 2019. Prepare now.

At 11pm on Friday 29th March this year, the
UK is due to leave the EU, with or without a deal; unless Parliament agrees to extend
the 2 year deadline under Article 50. Huge uncertainty has characterised the last
few months and weeks, and it remains to be seen just what will happen. Fortunately, there is no such uncertainty
when it comes to the various annual employment law changes, some of which are due to come
into force just 3 days later, on Monday 1st April. Every year the NMW and NLW rates increase,
and this year it’s no different. From the 1st April, employees aged 25 and
over, who are entitled to the NLW, must be paid a salary that equates to at least £8.21
per hour. For employees between 21 and 24, who are entitled
to be paid the NMW, their rate increases to £7.70; between 18 and 20 it increases to
£6.15, and for employees over the compulsory school age and who are 17, their rate increases
to £4.35. As for apprentices, their rate increases to
£3.90; unless you happen to be on a particular BBC reality programme, in which case it’s
whatever rate Lord Sugar decides you are worth. Statutory rates for certain employment entitlements
also go up on the 1st April. In particular, SSP rises to £92.45 per week,
and SMP and SAP both rise to £148.68 per week. Auto enrolment contributions for employee
pensions also increase, but not until Saturday 6th April, to coincide with the start of the
new tax year. Employer minimum contributions rise from 2%
to 3%, and minimum employee contributions rise from 3% to 5%. Meaning that the total minimum contribution
will stand at 8% from the 6th April. This is the last of the incremental changes
that were set out when the auto-enrolment scheme was first launched. For private sector employers with a headcount
of 250 or more employees, remember that the 2nd annual deadline for submitting your gender
pay gap report is Thursday 4th April. Results must not only be published on your
website; returns must be made so that your report also appears on the designated Government
website. It’s likely to be less painful second time
around as we are all more familiar with what’s expected; unless of course you’re an employer
who has grown their headcount in the past 12 months, and you now find yourself caught
by the Regulations for the first time. Employment status, and whether someone working
for you is an employee, independent sub-contractor, or worker, is one of the hottest topics in
employment law at the moment; not least because of a number of recent high profile cases and
the Government’s review into this area. In the context of that debate an important
change comes into force on the 6th April, when workers will, for the very first time,
be entitled to receive an itemised pay slip from the company or organisation they are
working for. Currently something only that employees are
entitled to. There are some detailed Regulations coming
into force which employers, who retain workers, will certainly need to be aware of, because
a failure to provide a pay slip to those individuals who are workers could lead to an Employment
Tribunal claim. Time does not permit me to outline any further
proposed changes that are on the horizon this year, and which could well have a significant
impact. So please; if you are already a Peninsula
client do keep in touch with your adviser. And if you are not a Peninsula client, then
do get in touch to find out more about how Peninsula can help protect your business. Particularly in these uncertain times. Whether these last few minutes provided you
with a welcome distraction from Brexit, I shall leave you to judge

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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