2019 in employment law: the year at a glance
Although the business and news agenda for 2019 will inevitably be dominated by Brexit, there are several changes to employment law on the horizon which will have major practical implications for businesses. This includes a raft of measures coming into force in 2020 for which businesses will need to start preparing now.
Executive pay reporting: New rules on reporting executive pay for UK-listed companies with an average of 250+ employees (including employees of subsidiaries for UK-listed parents) come into force. The rules apply to financial years starting after 1 January 2019 so the first reports will be due in early 2020, but data gathering will start in 2019.
Affected businesses will need to report annually on the difference in pay between their CEO and their 25th, 50th and 75th centile employees, expressed as a ratio. They will also need to provide an explanatory narrative in the directors' report.
The new UK Corporate Governance Code (applicable from January 2019) requires listed businesses to implement arrangements for workforce engagement. The options it recommends are:
|March 2019||Brexit will take effect on 29 March 2019 unless Article 50 is withdrawn or extended before that date. It remains unclear whether this will be under the draft Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister, a no-deal Brexit or some other arrangement.|
National living wage and national minimum wage rates will increase, as will the rates for statutory sick pay, statutory maternity pay and similar statutory payments.
The minimum contribution levels for pensions auto-enrolment will increase: the employee's contribution will increase from 2% to 3% and the minimum total contribution will increase from 5% to 8% of qualifying earnings.
4 April: the second round of private sector gender pay gap reports will be due.
6 April: changes to payslip requirements:
6 April: The maximum penalty which can be awarded by Employment Tribunals for an "aggravated" breach of employment law will increase from £5,000 to £20,000.
|December 2019||The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) will be rolled out to all FCA-regulated financial services firms.|
This will be a busy month for HR practitioners, with several substantial changes coming into force, including:
Upcoming cases of interest include the Supreme Court judgment in the long-running Uber worker status claims, a Court of Appeal decision on whether offering enhanced maternity pay but not enhanced shared parental pay is discriminatory and a Court of Appeal case on the scope of legal advice privilege in discrimination and victimisation cases. Watch this space for news on these interesting developments!
If you would like any additional information, please contact Head of Employment Jane Amphlett.