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Legal Update

April 2019 Employment Update

1 April
Minimum Wage
On 1 April, changes were made to National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW):

  • NLW (25+) – Increased from £7.83 to £8.21
  • NMW (21 – 24) – Increased from £7.38 to £7.70
  • NMW (18 – 20) – Increased from £5.90 to £6.15
  • NMW (16 – 17) – Increased from £4.20 to £4.35
  • NMW (Apprentices) – Increased from £3.70 to £3.90

The rates for apprentices apply to under 19s, or apprentices in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Data Protection
To reflect the changes made in May 2018 there has been an update to the requirement for data controllers to pay an annual fee to the Information Commissioner (unless all the processing of personal data done by the business falls into the category of ‘exempt processing’). This came into effect from 1 April. The fee is between £40 and £2,900 depending on the size of the business.

4 April
Gender Pay Gap
Companies with 250 or more employees must submit their gender pay gap reports by 4 April.

6 April
Aggregated Breach
Increased penalties for employers that repeatedly breach their employment law obligations, as per the ‘Good work plan’ published in December 2018. Currently, an ‘aggregated breach’ penalty of up to £5,000 can be imposed when employers lose at tribunal. From 6 April, the maximum penalty will increase to £20,000.

Pay Statements
Also from 6 April, the right to itemised pay statements will be extended to workers (rather than just employees). For pay periods beginning on or after 6 April, these pay statements will need to show (where relevant) the number of hours paid at different rates, where pay varies (such as overtime).

Compensation Limits

  • Limit on guaranteed payments – Increase from £28 to £29
  • Limit on a week’s pay – Increase from £508 to £525
  • Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment – Increase from £15,240 to £15,750
  • Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal – Increase from £83,682 to £86,444

Statutory Benefits
Statutory Sick Pay will be increased from £92.05 per week to £94.25 per week.

7 April
Statutory Benefits
Following the change to statutory sick pay, on 7 April, the following will be increased from £145.18 per week to £148.68 per week: Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay, and Shared Parental Pay.

In addition, the lower earnings limit will rise from £116 to £118.

On the horizon
Changes are proposed to the intermediaries legislation (IR35) relating to hiring self-employed contractors in the private sector. At present there is an obligation on public sector employers to determine whether or not contractors are really employees. The intention is to extend the public sector obligation to the private sector. More information will be known when draft legislation is published this summer. The intention is for changes to take effect by April 2020. 

Recommended Reading

Government response to the Low Pay Commission's autumn 2018 recommendations



These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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