Employment Law Update – April 2019

Hatchers’ April newsletter contains the customary summary of the key developments in Employment Law.

Minimum Wage Rates – 1 April 2019 :

1.8 million workers earning the National Living Wage (NLW) will receive an additional £690 over the year from 1 April 2019, as the biggest ever increase to NLW comes into effect.

  25 & Over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
2019 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
2018 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
2017 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50


Statutory Rates – 6 April 2019 :

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The weekly standard rate for SSP is payable for up to 28 weeks for the days an employee normally works. SSP is paid when the employee is sick for at least four qualifying days in a row.

  Weekly Earnings Threshold Weekly Standard Rate
2019 £118.00 £94.25
2018 £116.00 £92.05
2017 £113.00 £89.35


Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP)

SMP and SAP are paid for up to 39 weeks. 90% of weekly earnings are paid for the first 6 weeks followed by 33 weeks at the lower of 90% of weekly earnings or the weekly standard rate.

SPP is paid for either one or two weeks at the lower of 90% weekly earnings or the weekly standard rate.

SSPP is available to be paid for up to 37 weeks at the lower of 90% weekly earnings or the weekly standard rate.

  Weekly Earnings Threshold Weekly Standard Rate
2019 £118.00 £146.68
2018 £116.00 £145.18
2017 £113.00 £140.98


Employment Tribunal Claims – 6 April 2019 :

There is a statutory limit on a gross week’s pay, which aids in the calculation of the following:

  • Redundancy Payments
  • Unfair Dismissal Basic Award
  • Breach of the right to be accompanied to disciplinary or grievance hearings
  • Failure to provide a Statement of Particulars of Employment
  • Breach of Flexible Working Regulations
  • Claims for wages, holiday and notice pay from the National Insurance Fund
  Maximum
2019 £525.00
2018 £508.00
2017 £489.00

 

Employees who are made redundant and have two years’ continuous employment are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment.

Employees who are found to have been unfairly dismissed are entitled to a basic award.

Both of these payments are calculated in the same way, according to a formula based on the employee’s age, length of service and week’s pay and are subject to statutory caps:

  Maximum
2019 £15,750
2018 £15,240
2017 £14,670

 

In an unfair dismissal claim, the claimant may also be eligible for a compensatory award, also subject to a statutory cap.

  Maximum
2019 £86,444
2018 £83,862
2017 £80,541

 

Case Law :

Several cases have been brought in recent years arguing that individuals engaged as self-employed contractors by companies such as Pimlico Plumbers, Uber and Deliveroo are in fact “workers” or “employees” for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996. We can expect further case law development in this area.

In Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, the Court of Appeal held that carers on a sleep-in shift in a care home were engaged in work only when they were awake for the purpose of working. The rest of the time they were only “available for work” and not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The claimants have obtained permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Brexit:

2019 will, no doubt, be dominated by discussions surrounding Brexit. Any deal (or no deal) could affect Employment Law and, in particular, the rights of workers. The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA) provides the legal framework to directly transpose applicable EU law into UK law. The government has indicated that there will be no substantive changes to current rights. However, it is unclear whether UK laws would be changed in line with any future EU developments which strengthen workers’ rights.

Through our quarterly newsletters, we will provide updates on the key developments in employment law. If you would like to be placed on our mailing list, please contact Hatchers’ Employment Team on 01743 248545.