Lawmakers in the UK intend to ring the changes around employment laws in 2019.
The Government has announced several key policy changes to introduce upgraded laws that provide employees with revised protections.
In a bid to finally address the gender pay gap, provide equal rights for men and women and eliminate slave labour, the new employment laws and labour regulations promise to shake up business practice that are non-compliant.
CEO and Gender Pay Reporting
Private companies with more than 250 employees will be asked to publish gender pay gap figures for employees and executives. The purpose of the report, due in 2020, is to highlight any significant disparity in pay between men and women together with the total amount of pay received by CEOs and the average pay for an employee.
National Living Wage
A report published by the Low Pay Commission found an estimated 439,000 employees were paid below the minimum wage in 2018. Among them were 369,000 workers that were entitled to the national living wage.
In 2019, the national living wage for employees aged 25 and above has increased to £8.21 per hour.
Other minimum wage rates have also been introduced. Employees aged 21 to 24 are now entitled to at least £7.70, 18-20-year-olds have been given a rise to £6.15 and £4.20 to under 18s who are no longer of compulsory school age.
Statutory Pay for Sick Leave and Pregnancy
Employees that will be long-term absentees due to illness, maternity, paternity or adoption have been awarded pay increases that came into effect on 7 April 2019.
The weekly rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay was lifted to £148.68. The weekly rate for statutory sick pay has been increased to £94.25 and came into effect from the 6 April 2019.
Anti-Slavery Compliance Report
The government has reinforced its efforts to eliminate slave labour and human trafficking. Commercial organisations with an annual turnover of £36 million or more are legally obligated to publish an annual statement in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The report must show transparency in supply chains for corporations that use UK and overseas suppliers. The Home Office recommends the statement is published within six months of the end of the financial year.
The Government has added more provisions to the Good Work Plan in an effort to provide employees with better working conditions and quality of pay. In 2019, employers that offer seasonal work are obligated to improve holiday pay arrangements for workers.
In the past, seasonal workers have lost out due to the way holiday pay is calculated. The new terms seek to correct the anomaly by lengthening the reference period for calculating the average weekly earnings from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
Companies that employ staff need to be aware of employment and labour laws and regulations that affect them and their employees. Furthermore, it is advisable to seek directions on the best strategies to reduce the risk of non-compliance.