Chester: 01244 354800
Liverpool: 0151 3210000
  The Law Society Accredited

This months employment and HR newsletter covers the following:

1) Parliament rejects Brexit agreement
2) What will be the biggest issue faced by companies in 2019?
3) Itemised Payslips
4) New statutory rates~
5) Modern Slavery Act review recommends new requirements

1) Parliament rejects Brexit agreement

Following the government’s historic defeat on the EU Withdrawal Agreement in the Commons on 15 January 2019, we are no further forward in understanding exactly what the future post-Brexit looks like, which is bringing uncertainty to UK businesses. Airbus MD, Tom Enders, has branded the uncertainty surrounding Brexit a ‘disgrace’ and warned that a no-deal scenario could see the company move its production from the UK.

For the time being, the continuing rights of EU employees in the UK and vice versa beyond 29 March is uncertain, though the UK has not retracted its intention to apply its EU Settlement Scheme to EU citizens currently living and working in the UK (details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-publishes-details-of-settlement-scheme-for-eu-citizens).

When considering your business’ Brexit preparations, including what a ‘no-deal scenario’ looks like please be aware of the Government’s site https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/ .

If you have a workforce containing non UK citizens then you should be taking proactive steps to mitigate the risks of Brexit on your workforce and business.

2) What will be the biggest issue faced by companies in 2019?

YouGov has published findings from a survey in which employees were asked to select what they predict will be the three biggest issues faced by their current workforce in 2019. The survey, which was commissioned by Acas and surveyed 2035 employees below senior-manager level, found that 53% of respondents believe that finding the right people with the right skills will be the biggest challenge. The other two most popular responses were technological change (36%) and productivity (36%). Despite the rise of the #Me Too movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault, tackling sexual harassment was much lower down the list, with just 3% of respondents selecting it as a top-three choice.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said the results “could be attributed to uncertainty around our relationship with the EU at the moment or general concerns around skills shortages”.

Source: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6638

What are the biggest issues facing your business? Over the next 12 months, we are hosting a series of events to discuss key concerns facing businesses. Let us know by responding to our survey. Click on the following link to complete >

3) Itemised Payslips for Workers

A reminder to employers that from 6 April 2019 The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2018 (SI 2018/529) is due to come into force. As well as providing the information that currently needs to be included in an itemised pay slip, an employer will also need to include the total number of paid hours worked but only in those situations where pay varies in direct relation to the amount of time worked.

The aim of the change is to provide greater clarity for those who work variable hours, and whose pay fluctuates as a result of that.

The Order provides all workers (as defined under section 230(3) of the ERA 1996) with a right to an itemised pay statement and to enforce that right at an employment tribunal. The Order will bring into force the government’s commitment to ensure employers provide itemised payslips to all workers, not just employees.

The Order will not apply to wages or salary paid in respect of a period of work before the 6 April 2019.

What action should employers take?

a) Ensure payroll processes are adjusted to collect the new information required; and
b) Amend the format of payslips to include this new information, where appropriate.


4) New statutory rates

Employers should also be aware that the government has published the proposed new statutory rates that will apply from April 2019 as follows:

a) Statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and adoption pay will increase to £148.68 (from £145.18)

b) Statutory sick pay will increase to £94.25 (from £92.05).

Are you ready for the changes? Make sure your systems are up to date.

5) Modern Slavery Act review recommends new requirements

Are you aware that the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act has published its second interim report?

On 22 January 2019, The Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act (the Act), chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss, Frank Field MP and Maria Miller MP, published its second interim report which focuses on the ‘transparency in supply chains’ requirement (section 54) of the Act.

Section 54 of the Act requires all large businesses, which is defined as those with turnover exceeding £36m, to produce and publish a statement setting out what they are doing to eradicate modern slavery risks from their operations and supply chains.

The report recognised that a large number of businesses were treating compliance with the Act as discretionary rather than compulsory and key recommendations include the following;

a) Developing sanctions against non-compliant companies

b) Introducing a central state-run repository for statements

c) Removing section 54(4)b which allows companies to be legally compliant with the law simply by stating that they have done nothing to address the issue

d) Making it mandatory to cover specific areas of the business, instead of advisable to do so

e) Extending section 54 to the public sector so that public procurement can also be used to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in supply chains.

Watch this space to make sure you stay up to date with the findings of the review and future developments in the reporting regime.

Tom Evans Associate

For more information, please contact Tom Evans, Senior Associate in the Employment & HR Department at DTM Legal LLP

Back to Legal Updates

Sign up to our newsletter

Get regular news & updates