2019 is set to bring Brexit, a solar eclipse, and the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel – but what’s in store for your organisation?
Well… for starters, there are some changes to UK employment law that you may need to be aware of. At Croner-i, we always keep a beady eye out for the latest legislation on the way, and we’ve found four key ones that may affect your company in 2019.
See more in the Croner-i legislation tracker.
1. New minimum wage rates
Effective: April 2019
As per every year, the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) are set to rise in April.
The new rates will be:
- NLW (25+) – £8.21 per hour
- NMW for 21-24-year-olds – £7.70 per hour
- NMW for 18-20-year-olds – £6.15 per hour
- NMW for 16-17-year-olds – £4.35 per hour
- NMW apprentice rate – £3.90 per hour
- Statutory sick pay will rise to £94.25 per week
- Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, and shared parental payments will rise to £148.68 per week
- Accommodation offset will rise to £7.55 per day
If you pay any staff the NLW or NMW, or close to it, check their current pay packages to see what adjustments you need to make ready for April.
2. National Insurance Confusion
Effective: 1 April 2019
Here’s another possible change to your payslips. The National Insurance Contributions Bill, effective from April, will introduce some key changes to National Insurance Contributions (NICs). They include these:
- NICs must be paid on termination payments over £30,000
- Class 2 NICs will be abolished
- the NICs treatment of sporting testimonials will change
3. Perfect your payslips
Effective: 6 April 2019
Speaking of payslips… there are two important developments in this area.
Previously, only employees were entitled to an itemised payslip – but from 6 April 2019, that will include workers too. ‘Workers’ covers agency staff, casual staff, zero hours staff, and so on. (See our blog: Employment status – what you need to know.) If you employ workers, you’ll need to provide them with a payslip if you don’t already.
The second change affects staff whose pay varies depending on how many hours they work. From April onwards, their payslip must state the exact number of hours you’re paying them for. This is a new rule for better transparency around pay, and for making matters more straightforward when a worker challenges the numbers on their payslip.
4. Hot tips
The government is introducing legislation “at the earliest opportunity” to make sure any tips that customers leave for workers goes to them in full. While most companies already guarantee staff get their tips, some bad behaviour from a few – TGI Fridays, to name one – prompted the need for a new law.
There’s no confirmed date for these regulations yet, but if your staff receive tips from customers, it’s a good time to think about formalising your tips policy.
The government currently has a voluntary code of practice which is a great starting point.
And another thing…
As well as legislation itself, there are a few cases from employment tribunals and appeal courts from the last year to be aware of. See our roundup here:
A big one concerned employment status. In some landmark cases, notably those involving Uber and Pimlico Plumbers, courts ruled that a number of people working ‘gig economy’ jobs were in fact workers – not independent contractors, as the companies had classified them. They were therefore entitled to things like the National Minimum Wage and paid holidays.
For more info on what this means, see the gig economy section of our in-depth employment guide, plus our feature article: Employment status and the gig economy.