There are many pitfalls for employers within HR and Employment Law and it is important to ensure your company has the right policies and procedures in place. What follows are some key essentials that all companies should already have in place and Employment Law and HR legislation changes to expect in 2019 to help ensure you are HR ready.
Effective, fair and consistent recruitment procedure. Why?
It is crucial your recruitment is effective, this helps to identify the business needs enabling the business to match the right applicants to these needs. An employer needs to be aware of equal opportunities legislation, even an applicant can raise a claim and with a recruitment procedure that is fair and consistent the business is better placed to avoid any direct or indirect discrimination claims.
Contract of employment to be issued within 2 months. Why?
All employees who have worked for one month are entitled to an employment contract and there are some key requirements that the contract must contain. These include, but are not limited to:
- The business’s name, the employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date.
- Holiday entitlement, notice period, where to find the disciplinary and grievance procedure.
It is a legal requirement to provide the contract within 2 months of the employees start date. By keeping up to date with HR legislation changes 2019, employers can minimise potential risks to their business and ensure their employees are covered.
Disciplinary and grievance procedure. Why?Disciplinary and grievance procedures should, as a minimum, reflect the ACAS code of practice, whilst the Code is not, in itself, legally enforceable, employment tribunals will take its provisions into account when considering relevant cases. In some cases when the code is not followed it can result in an uplift of an award for unfair dismissal by 25%. Following a fair procedure will help keep an employer safer, but also a clear disciplinary procedure will hopefully encourage employees not to misbehave, but if they do it can help correct their behaviour. While a fair grievance procedure will help to resolve any genuine employee concerns, enabling them to work to their full abilities.
Awareness of the Working Time Regulations. Why?
The Working Time Regulations are there to protect employees. They govern the breaks, rest periods, hours worked and holiday entitlement and it is important employers don’t breach these. The rules on holidays seem to be constantly changing and employers should keep up to date with all developments. The latest ruling is that an employee would not lose the first 4 weeks of unused holiday if their employer hasn’t given prior warning that employees will lose any unused annual leave.
Employment Law & HR Legislation Changes | What will 2019 bring?
Key Pay-Related Changes
1st April – The hourly rate of the National Living Wage, the rate for workers who are aged 25 and over, increases from £7.83 to £8.21. The National Minimum Wage for workers aged at least 21 but under 25 rises from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour. The rate for workers who are aged at least 18 but under 21 increases from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour; the rate for workers aged 16 or 17 rises from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour; and the apprentice rate rises from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour. The accommodation offset increases from £7.00 to £7.55 per day.
5th April – Is the deadline for companies with over 250 employees to report gender pay gap.
6th April – The rate of statutory sick pay increases from £92.05 per week to £94.25 per week.
7th April – The rates of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay increase from £145.18 per week to £148.68 per week.
While the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay legislation and the recently announced Good Work Plan are not due until 2020 employers should be aware and plan for these. Speak to our Consultants for FREE HR Advice about how these changes will affect businesses.
Brexit – Deal or No-Deal?
In closing it would be amiss to not mention Brexit. The UK gave notice of its intention to quit the EU on 29th March 2017. There was a two year timeframe for negotiating the terms of the departure, making 29th March 2019 the UK’s leaving date, unless there is an agreement to extend. At time of writing, there is still no deal and ultimately it is still unclear how the UK leaving will affect Employment Law within the UK, keep up to date with the latest HR news affecting UK businesses by signing up for our Wirehouse Newsletter.
Contact our team of expert Employment Law Consultants to let us help you put effective employee policies and procedures in place to deal with the upcoming HR legislation changes 2019.