What is in store for Employment Law in 2019?

Insights - 15/11/2018

2018 has seen some noteworthy changes in employment law including the first deadline for gender pay gap reports and the introduction of GDPR, so what can we expect in 2019?

 

11 January 2019     Government consultation on mandatory ethnicity pay gap closes

See our separate article on this topic.

 

11 January 2019     Government consultation on the tribunal system closes.

In September 2018 the Law Commission launched a consultation  on Employment Law Hearing Structures to consider how employment law cases are handled and whether the current system could be improved. The consultation will look at a number of questions including:

  • Whether the time limit for employment law claims should be increased to six months in most cases (currently 3 months less one day for most cases); and
  • Whether the £25,000 limit for breach of contract claims should be removed and tribunals allowed to hear such claims whilst an employee is still employed.

Both of the above could lead to an increase in the number of claims and will therefore be of concern to employers.

The consultation closes on 11 January 2019 after which it is expected the Law Commission will review the responses and publish final recommendations later in 2019.

 

29 March 2019       Brexit Day                              

Wholesale changes to employment law are not expected. We may see a review of some employment laws less popular for businesses, such as TUPE and the Agency Worker Regulations.

 

1 April 2019            Increase in statutory rates

Including an increase in the National Living Wage from £7.83 to £8.21.

 

4 April 2019           Gender pay gap data

Employers of 250 or more employees are required to publish their second annual pay gap data and it will be interesting to see if reported gender pay gaps have begun to reduce.

 

6 April 2019           Pay slip changes

Employers are obliged to provide pay slips to workers as well as employees. Pay slips must now also state the total number of hours worked where pay varies according to the hours worked.

 

6 April 2019           Simplification of the taxation on termination payments

Since 6 April 2018, any payment in lieu of notice has been treated as earnings and subject to tax and class 1 NICs. From 6 April 2019 all termination payments above the £30,000 threshold will be subject to class 1A NICs (employer liability only) rather than just income tax. This will align tax and employer NIC, but will increase the cost of termination payments for employers.

2019?                       Guidance on employment status

In our 15 June 2018 blog , we reported on the government consultation on employment status which closed on 1 June 2018. We are still awaiting the government’s response which we expect to receive in 2019 along with judgments on various case law also dealing with employment status.

 

2019?                       Reintroduction of tribunal fees

The Government was heavily criticised by the Supreme Court in 2017 which held that the fee scheme introduced in the employment tribunal in 2013 was unlawful. The Ministry of Justice has indicated it may reintroduce fees for employment tribunal claims if it can find a balance in funding the court system without preventing access to justice. Watch this space!

 

We will keep you updated on these and other developments to include details of the new right to paid parental bereavement leave expected to be in force from 2020. Should you have any questions on the issues set out here contact your usual adviser in the team or Emma McLoughlin at [email protected].

Disclaimer:

Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.