April 2019 Employment Law Update

New National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates come into force on 1st April. See https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates for full details and the new apprentice entitlements. The new rates are: - Workers aged 25 and over (NLW)                                   £8.21 an hour (38p increase) Workers aged 21 -24                                                        £7.70 an hour (32p increase) Development rate for workers aged 18-20                    £6.15 an hour (25p increase) Under 18                                                                           £4.35 an hour (15p increase) New Statutory Rates also take effect on 1st April, as follows: - Statutory maternity pay is rising from £145.18 to £148.68 (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate) from April 2019. The increase normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, which this year is 7th April. Also, on 7th April, the rates of statutory paternity pay, and statutory shared parental pay will go up from £145.18 to £148.68 (or 90% of the employee's average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate). The rate of statutory adoption pay will also increase from £145.18 to £148.68. This means that from 7th April, statutory adoption pay is payable at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, with the remainder of the adoption pay period at the rate of £148.68, or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than £148.68. The rate of statutory sick pay is also increasing from £92.05 to £94.25 on 7th April. To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee's average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit. The lower earnings limit is also increasing from £116 to £118. Further information on the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage can be found on the ACAS website. Payslips Two important changes to the Employment Rights Act 1996, affecting payslip information, will come into force on 6 April 2019: Employers must include the total number of hours worked where the pay varies according to the hours worked, for example under variable hours or zero hours contracts. Payslips must be given to ‘workers’ and not just employees. Visit Payslip Policy Guidance for further information. Workers & Zero Hour Contracts There may be a bigger change to Employment Law on the horizon as MP Chris Stephens has introduced a Workers (Definition and Rights), Bill. The Bill intends to ban zero hours contracts, except where their use was agreed with the individual’s trade union, and clarify the...
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