Brexit and Employment
There will continue to be uncertainty and speculation over the coming months regarding the employment challenges of Brexit. Please read my Brexit, Business and Employment Predictions Article for some early insights.
National Living Wage, National Minimum Wage and Statutory Rate Increases (April 2019)
The National Living Wage will increase to £8.21 p/hr; the NMW for 21-24 year olds will increase to £7.70; for 18 to 20 year olds to £6.15; for 16-17 year olds to £4.35 and the apprenticeship rate to £3.90. Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £92.05 per week to £94.25 and Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay will increase from £145.18 per week to £148.68.
Itemised Pay Statements for Workers (April 2019)
The right to an itemised pay statement will be extended to workers. Where pay varies according to time worked, employers will have to include total number of hours worked for which variable pay is received.
Good Work Plan (April 2020)
The government has responded to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices with its Good Work Plan. Key commitments include: giving zero hour workers the right to request more stable contracts; giving all workers a day one right to a statement of their terms and conditions; producing new legislation on defining employment status; lengthening the reference period for calculating holiday pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks and abolishing an agency worker loophole called the Swedish Derogation.
Kay’s comment: The rationale behind these changes is to give more clarity and protection to gig economy workers, agency employees and zero-hour contract workers – the earliest implementation dates are thought to be from April 2020. The Good Work Plan responds to the 53 recommendations included in the Taylor Review, but makes little reference to post-Brexit changes.
Statutory Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment
The government has announced a new code of practice, developed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The Code is one of twelve measures being taken by the government to tackle workplace sexual harassment. It is also likely to tighten regulations on non-disclosure agreements and may extend employment tribunal time limits for Equality Act related cases.
Kay’s comment: ACAS provides useful information on how to handle a complaint of sexual harassment.
Domestic Abuse Toolkit for Employers
The Toolkit has been produced by Business in the Community (BITC) and details three key actions employers can take to help employees who are victims of abuse: acknowledge responsibility to help employees; respond to abuse claims supportively and refer employees to appropriate organisations that can help.
Kay’s comment: The Domestic Abuse Toolkit provides practical steps and useful case studies to help employers support their employees appropriately and sensitively, meeting their duty of care to employees to provide a safe and effective work environment.
HR Article: Depression is Not a Dirty Word
HR Article: Workplace Bullying
HR Article: Workplace Loneliness
Please Note: The information contained in this e-newsletter is provided for your general use only. It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.