triangle
0117 325 2929

4 employment law changes you need to know about in April 2019

08.04.2019

With employment law legislation changing so regularly, it can be difficult for employees and employers alike to keep up-to-date with the latest developments.

There have been a number of important legislative changes come into force this month, so our Employment team have put together a round-up of what you need to know, be it as an employer or an employee.

1: Vento guidelines updated

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals (England, Wales and Scotland) have issued a joint Second Addendum to the Presidential Guidance that was originally issued in September 2017.

It contains the annual update to the Vento guidelines which set out the bands of awards for injury to feelings, adjusted for inflation. These apply to cases presented on or after 6th April 2019.

The new bands are:

  • Lower band (less serious cases): £900 to £8,800
  • Middle band: £8,800 to £26,300
  • Upper band (the most serious cases): £26,300 to £44,000 (with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £44,000)

2: Employers must provide itemised payslips

On 8th February 2018, a new statute, The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 was placed before parliament.

The order, which came into force on 6th April 2019, means that employers will have to provide itemised payslips for employees’ wages, which vary depending on how much time they have worked. These must include the number of hours they are paying the employee for. The change aims to increase transparency for both employers and employees alike.

So what do you need to do as an employer?

To comply with the order, employers must either:

  • Show the combined number of hours worked for which payment is being made; or
  • Itemise the figures for different types of work worked and/or different rates of pay.

Employers should ensure the payroll process is adjusted accordingly and amend the payslip format to include this new information.

3: Updated statutory and compensation limits

Compensation limits

Maximum guarantee payments:

  • From 6th April 2018: £28 a day (maximum £140, five days in any three-month period)
  • From 6th April 2019: £29 a day (maximum £145, five days in any three-month period)

Maximum week’s pay for calculating redundancy and unfair dismissal basic award:

  • From 6th April 2018: £508
  • From 6th April 2019: £525

Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment:

  • From 6th April 2018: £15,240 (30 weeks’ pay subject to the limit on a week’s pay)
  • From 6th April 2019: £15,750 (30 weeks’ pay subject to the limit on a week’s pay)

Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal (unlimited for certain automatically unfair dismissals, for example, health and safety or whistleblowing):

  • From 6th April 2018: £83,682
  • From 6th April 2019: £86,444

Additional award for failure to comply with reinstatement or re-engagement order:

  • From 6th April 2018: £13,208 – £26,416 (26-52 weeks’ pay maximum)
  • From 6th April 2019: £13,650 – £27,300 (26-52 weeks’ pay maximum)

Failure to allow right to be accompanied correctly:

  • From 6th April 2018: £1,016 (two weeks’ pay capped at the statutory amount)
  • From 6th April 2019: £1,050 (two weeks’ pay capped at the statutory amount)

Failure to give written statement of particulars:

  • From 6th April 2018: £1,016 or £2,032 (two or four weeks’ pay capped at the statutory amount)
  • From 6th April 2019: £1,050 or £2,100 (two or four weeks’ pay capped at the statutory amount)

Flexible working regulations:

  • From 6th April 2018: £4,064 (eight weeks’ pay capped at the statutory amount)
  • From 6th April 2019: £4,200 (eight weeks’ pay capped at the statutory amount)

Family friendly payments

Statutory maternity pay (SMP):

  • First six weeks: 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at the following rates
  • From 1st April 2018: £145.18 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower
  • From 7th April 2019: £148.68 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower

Statutory adoption pay (SAP):

  • First six weeks: 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at the following rates
  • From 1st April 2018: £145.18 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower
  • From 7th April 2019: £148.68 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower

Statutory paternity pay (SPP):

  • Paid for two weeks
  • From 1st April 2018: £145.18 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower
  • From 7th April 2019: £148.68 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower

Statutory shared parental leave pay:

  • From 1st April 2018: £145.18 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower
  • From 7th April 2019: £148.68 or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower

Statutory sick pay

  • From 6th April 2018: £92.05
  • From 6th April 2019: £94.25

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

From 1st April 2018:

  • Workers aged 25 and over: £7.83 an hour (National Living Wage)
  • Workers aged 21-24: £7.38 an hour
  • Development rate for workers aged 18-20: £5.90 an hour
  • Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17: £4.20 an hour
  • Apprentice rate: £3.70 an hour

More information on the NMW and its calculation is available on the GOV.UK website.

From 1st April 2019:

  • Workers aged 25 and over: £8.21 an hour (National Living Wage)
  • Workers aged 21-24: £7.70 an hour
  • Development rate for workers aged 18-20: £6.15 an hour
  • Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17: £4.35 an hour
  • Apprentice rate: £3.90 an hour

4: The ‘Good work plan’

The government’s ‘Good work plan’, which was published in December 2018, committed to increasing penalties for employers that repeatedly breach their employment law obligations.

Tribunals have the power to impose a £5,000 ‘aggravated breach’ penalty on employers losing cases, and from 6th April 2019, the maximum limit on these penalties will rise to £20,000. The change is contained in Part 1 of the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019.

How we can help

To speak to one of our employment solicitors in Bristol or South Gloucestershire for advice on how these updates might affect you as an employer or employee, call us on 0117 905 9763 or complete our online enquiry form.

Latest Employment law News + Blog

Sign up for our e-newsletter

Enter your email below to join the mailing list