The annual Employment Tribunal award limit changes will take effect on 6 April 2019. The limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal will rise from £83,682 to £86,444.
The cap on the compensatory award is the lower of the maximum or 52 weeks' pay (based on the Claimant's gross salary prior to dismissal including employer pension contribution but excluding benefits in kind and discretionary bonus). As always there are a limited number of exceptions where the cap does not apply. These are dismissals for whistleblowing or for raising certain health and safety issues. In addition, there is no limit to the award that can be made where a dismissal is related to unlawful discrimination.
The limit on a week's pay (used for calculating statutory redundancy payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal) will increase from £508 to £525 meaning the maximum basic award increases to £15,750.
NATIONAL LIVING WAGE AND NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
The National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will change as follows from 1 April:-
- NLW rate for those aged 25 years and older - increases from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour
- 21 to 24 year old rate - increases from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour
- 18 to 20 year old rate - increases from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour
- 16 to 17 year old rate - increases from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour
- Apprentice rate - increases from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour
Apprentice rates apply to apprentices under 19 or 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship.
As of 7 April statutory maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental pay and maternity allowance is to be increased from £145.18 to £148.68 a week.
Statutory sick pay is to be increased from £92.05 to £94.25 per week from 6 April.
Two new statutory instruments will take effect from April 2019. The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 will require all payslips to state the number of hours being paid where wages vary according to time worked.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2018 extends the right to a written pay statement to workers as well as employees and provides the ability to enforce that right before a Tribunal should an employer not comply.
GENDER PAY GAP REPORTING
4 April will see the second deadline for gender pay gap reports to be published by private and voluntary sector companies with 250 or more employees. Click here to find out why we think expectations of improvement should be kept in check. Then the following day, 5 April, is the snapshot date for collecting the 2019/20 data.
GOOD WORK PLAN
6 April will see the first of the legislation that has been introduced in the UK Government's Good Work Plan taking effect - specifically the increase in penalties for aggravated breaches of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000 as set out in the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019.
TAXATION OF TERMINATION PAYMENTS
Although it was initially thought that the requirement for employers to pay employer NICs on all payments above the £30,000 threshold (for non-contractual termination payments) would be implemented in 2018, this has been delayed through 2019 and is now due to take effect in April 2020.