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2019 will see new legislation that will affect employers and employees

The main changes are as follows:

Executive Pay Gap Reporting (1 January 2019) Regulations made under the Companies Act 2006require UK listed companies with more than 250 UK employees to report annually on the pay gap between their Chief Executive and their average UK worker. The first reports are due in 2020.

Gender Pay Gap Reports - Public Sector (30 March 2019) ‘Specified public authorities’ (including government departments, the armed forces, local authorities, the NHS and state schools) with 250 or more employees, are required to publish their gender pay gap reports by this date. Increase to National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage (1 April 2019) New National Minimum/Living Wage rates: • 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 (workers under 19 or in first year of apprenticeship) - £3.90 an hour Gender Pay Gap Reports - Private & Voluntary Sector (4 April 2019) Employers of 250 or more employees are required to publish their second annual gender pay gap report by this date. Increase to Employers’ Aggravated Breach Penalty (6 April 2019) Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 – increases the ‘aggravated breach’ penalty to £20,000 for employers that repeatedly breach their employment law obligations. Payslip Changes (6 April 2019) Changes to the Employment Rights Act 1996: • Payslips must include the total number of hours worked where the pay varies according the hours worked (for example under variable hours or zero hours contracts) • Employers are obliged to provide pay slips to workers as well as employees. Tax on Termination Payments (6 April 2019) Employers will be liable to pay Class 1A National Insurance contributions on termination payments above £30,000 that are subject to income tax by the employee. Brexit (29 March 2019) As far as we know, the UK is leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, there may be other changes to legislation following this date.

In addition to the above changes that we know are happening, the government has published details of the changes it proposes to make to employment law following the Matthew Taylor Good Work review, together with draft legislation.

Key proposals include:

· Legislation to improve the clarity of the employment status tests and align the employment and tax status frameworks

· A right to a written statement of terms and conditions for workers (as well as employees), from day one (rather than within two months)

· An increase in the reference period, from 12 weeks to 52 weeks, for calculating an average week's pay for holiday pay purposes where the worker has variable pay

· A right for workers to request a more fixed working pattern after 26 weeks of service

· A change in legislation relating to continuity of employment, so that a gap of up to four weeks between contracts will not break continuity of employment (an increase from one week currently)

· A repeal of the Swedish derogation – which currently allows agency workers to be paid less than other permanent employees in certain circumstances.

Many of the changes are intended to come into force on 6 April 2020.

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