Employment Law April Update

Employment Law April Update | Aeris Employment Law

Although Brexit dominates the news, some recent developments in the employment field are set out in this update.

1 – Pimlico Plumber loses £74,000 holiday pay claim

You may recall that last year a plumber called Gary Smith was successful in establishing that he was a worker and not self-employed.  He lost, however, his claim for arrears of holiday pay totally £74,000 as he had not brought his claim in time.

The written reasons are not out yet and he is likely to appeal. Apparently, the company may consider trying to claim its tribunal costs from Mr Smith. The Chief Executive of Pimlico Plumbers said that this “…sends a message to those who have taken advantage of this case to peddle their poisonous bile about my company.”

2- New government campaign about holiday entitlement

The government has launched a campaign called ‘It Comes with the Job’ to help workers and employers understand their rights and obligations.

Apparently, over £1.8 billion of holiday pay is unclaimed every year. Expect some more awareness of holiday pay and queries from individuals

3 – Caps on penalties and awards from 6 April 2019

The maximum financial penalty that tribunals can impose for ‘aggravated breach’ will increase from £5,000 to £20,000.

The maximum award for unfair dismissal will increase from £83,682 to £86,444.

A maximum week’s pay for redundancy and basic award calculations increases from £508 and £525.

4 – National Minimum Wage from 1 April 2019

Workers aged 25 and over: £7.83 – £8.21
Workers aged 21 – 24:  £7.38 – £7.70
Development rate for workers aged 18 – 20: £5.90 to £6.15
Young workers rate for workers aged 16 – 17: £4.20 to £4.35
Apprentice rate: £3.70 to £3.90

5 – Family-Related Pay and Statutory Sick Pay from 6 April 2019

Weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £148.68.

It is important that companies and HR departments, make sure that employees on paternity, maternity, adoption, shared parental leave and sick leave are paid the correct statutory minimum rates.

Documents and policies that reference the rates, such as their maternity policies and sickness absence procedures will also need to be reviewed.

The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases from £92.05 to £94.25 from 6 April 2019.

6 – Atypical workers

There will be an extension of some statutory protections which currently apply to employees.

From 6 April 2019, employers will be required to give every ‘worker’ a written itemised pay statement at or before the time at which any payment of wages or salary is made.

There will be more changes in April 2020 extending the obligation to provide a statement of employment particulars to all workers to be received on day one of employment.

7 – Gender pay gap reporting

As the deadline for the second annual gender pay report looms, private organisations with more than 250 employees will again be required to publish on 4 April 2019 their gender pay gap figures. Find out more here

8 – Non-disclosure agreements

This is currently being reviewed by the government and a response is expected later this year.

9 – Auto-enrolment contributions

The auto-enrolment minimum contribution is currently 5% of qualifying earnings of which at least 2% must be paid by the employer. In April 2019 this will rise again to 8% qualifying earnings of which at least 3% must be paid by the employer.


Employer minimum contributionEmployee minimum contributionTotal minimum contribution
April 6th, 2018 – April 5th 20192%3%5%
April 6th, 2019 onwards3%5%8%

10 – And finally – microchipping

We regularly microchip our pets but if recent articles are to be believed, this may be happening to employees during 2019.  Not sure how this will work with a right to privacy and GDPR but could be an interesting if not curious development.

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