Five employment law changes that businesses should prepare for in 2019
Are you prepared for employment law changes coming into force in 2019? Coodes Solicitors Employment Lawyer Philip Sayers highlights five key legal changes that will affect employers this year.
The New Year brings a number of developments in employment law and there is some important new legislation that employers will need to prepare for. These reforms will affect the majority of businesses in the UK so it is crucial for employers to be aware of these changes.
1. Itemised payslips will be mandatory
Although employers already have to legally provide their employees with payslips, from April 6th payslips will have to clearly detail the hours which the member of staff is being paid for and how the payment was calculated. This will now also apply to workers as well as traditional employees and may be especially relevant to SMEs and businesses that employ staff on a seasonal basis and may not currently provide itemised payslips.
The new legislation aims to ensure workers have been paid correctly and make it easier for them to understand their pay. This is especially relevant when staff work varied hours or have multiple job roles with different rates of pay.
The new rules will be implemented in response to recommendations in the Taylor Review, published in 2018.
2. Employment tribunal fees could be reintroduced
At the end of last year, the Government announced its intention to consider the reintroduction of fees for employment tribunals. These fees were removed in July 2017 after being deemed unlawful and this has resulted in increasing numbers of claims being made.
Although the proposal has not be finalised, the Ministry of Justice has suggested fees would be lower than previously and that there will be a new fee scheme for people who cannot afford the costs. This proposal is something businesses should keep an eye on as it is likely to develop throughout the year.
3. Changes to gig economy employment
In December 2018 the Government published the Good Work Plan in response to the Taylor Review. It announced the Government’s intention to follow a number of the recommendations that aim to improve working conditions for workers in the gig economy and those on zero hour contracts.
I highlighted the key points for employers in my recent blog.
More proposals are likely to develop over the coming months, including the right for workers to request more steady and predictable contract, as well as a ban on employer’s retaining staff tips. These changes are likely to take effect in 2020.
4. Larger businesses will be required to report on pay ratios
This year, larger companies will have to publish the ratio between CEO pay and the average pay of the workforce. Announced last summer, this new legislation affects businesses with more than 250 members of staff and will account for the financial year starting on or after January 1st 2019.
5. Increased penalties for breaching employment law
The maximum penalty for breaching employment law is set to increase by four times the current penalty, from £5,000 to £20,000. This change is set to come into force on 6th April. If the employer pays the penalty within 21 days, it will be reduced by 50%.