RECENT CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT LAW

The start of the new financial year tends to bring with it several important changes in employment law, and this year is no different:

1 April 2019

  • National minimum wage. The national minimum wage rates for the five categories of workers have increased. Apprentices have to be paid (at least) £3.90 an hour, under-18s, £4.35 an hour, under-20s, £6.15 an hour and under-24s, £7.70 an hour. Those aged 25 and over must be paid a minimum of £8.21 an hour.

6 April 2019

  • “Aggravated” breaches of employment law. As announced in the government’s Good Work Plan, the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 introduce an increase for the maximum penalty for an “aggravated” breach of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000.
  • Tribunal awards and statutory payments. The limit applying to certain awards of employment tribunals, and other amounts payable under employment legislation from 6 April 2019, will increase as follows:

Current figure

As of 6 April 2019

Maximum limit on a week’s pay

£508 £525

Minimum basic award for automatically unfair dismissals

£6,203 £6,408

Maximum statutory redundancy / unfair dismissal basic award

£15,240 £15,750

Limit on amount of compensatory award for unfair dismissal

£83,682 £86,444
  • Vento bands. The bands used for calculating awards for injury to feelings will be increased as follows for claims presented on or after 6 April 2019:
  • a lower band of £900 to £8,800 (for less serious cases);
  • a middle band of £8,800 to £26,300 (for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band); and
  • an upper band of £26,300 to £44,000 (for the most serious cases).
  • Awards in the most exceptional cases may exceed £44,000.
  • Itemised payslips. The right to itemised payslips has been extended to all workers who will be able to enforce this right at an employment tribunal. Also, payslips will need to itemise the number of hours paid for where a worker is paid on an hourly rate basis.

7 April 2019

  • Statutory payments. The level of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay has increased to £148.68 per week. Statutory sick pay rose to £94.25 on 6 April 2019.

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