Employment law changes to look out for in 2019


2019 is set to be a busy year for employment law, with increases to the National Minimum Wage, changes to payslips and new pension rates coming into force, all with Brexit looming on the horizon.

At Farnworth Rose, we’ve pulled together 4 of the key changes to UK employment law that your business should look out for in 2019.

New National Minimum Wage rates in April 2019

Once again, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates are set to increase. From 1st April 2019 the rates will be as follows:

  • NLW for workers aged 25 and over: £8.21 per hour
  • NMW for workers aged 21-24: £7.70 per hour
  • NMW for workers aged 18-20: £6.15 per hour
  • NMW for workers aged 16-17: £4.35 per hour
  • NMW apprentice rate: £3.90 per hour

It is vital that employers keep up to date with the latest NMW rates and ensure all employees are paid the right wage.

Employers who fail to do so could find themselves facing fines of up to 200% of wages owed.

Increases in statutory sick pay and maternity pay

We will also see an increase in statutory sick pay (SSP) to £94.25 per week from April 2019.

Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental payments will also increase £148.68 per week.

Payslips required for all workers

From the 6th April, all workers will be entitled to a fully itemised payslip. This will include agency staff, casual staff and zero hours staff.

There are also changes for staff whose pay varies depending on how many hours they work. Payslips will need to include the exact number of hours you are paying staff for.

The aim is to provide better transparency around pay, making it more straightforward should an employee question the numbers on their payslip.

What upcoming cases could affect your business?

In addition to the employment law changes set to come in to force in 2019, there are a number of cases waiting to be heard which businesses should be aware of.

Should staff be paid to sleep?

In a 2018 Court of Appeal decision, it was found that employees required to do sleep-in shifts would not be entitled to National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Staff will only need to be paid when they are actually working and won’t be paid for the time spent asleep when they are ‘available for work’.

A request to appeal the decision has been lodged to the Supreme Court by Unison with a decision expected in 2019.

Any ruling will define the rights of staff who work sleep-in shifts including nurses and care workers.

Will equal pay for equal work be introduced?

Throughout 2019, separate tribunal decisions are expected involving major supermarkets around how much they pay their staff.

Claims have been brought by predominately female workers who feel they are unfairly paid less than predominately male workers performing a similar role.

Equal pay is not only a concern for large companies. Smaller companies have been challenged by staff who believe they are not receiving equal pay.

The outcome of these cases will provide clarity on the issue of equal pay and may result in further cases in other sectors.

Have a question for our specialist employment solicitors?

If you have any questions about the upcoming changes in employment law in 2019, our specialist employment solicitors are here to help.

To talk to the team at Farnworth Rose today, call us on 01282 695 400.

Or, if you’d prefer to arrange a call-back with a member of our team, complete our quick online contact form here.