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Employment Law changes in 2019

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2019 will be a year of change for employers and it is vital that companies are prepared in order to avoid potential tribunal claims against them. Howard Robson, Partner in our Employment department, reviews the key updates we can expect to see in the next 12 months.

Immigration law changes

When, or if, the UK leaves the EU next month, the right to freedom of movement will end. Whilst the government has introduced a scheme whereby EU workers already in the UK will be able to apply for ‘settled status’, enabling them to reside in the UK indefinitely, it is likely that the employment of new EU workers will be under the same restrictions as the employment of other foreign workers. 

Executive Pay Ratio Reporting

The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 state that certain companies are now required to report the salary and benefits ratio between the CEO (or equivalent) and their employees. To find out more about which companies are required to produce a report and what details need to be included within the report, view our previous article here.

Publication of a second Gender Pay Gap report

Last year Employers with 250 or more employees were required to publish their first Gender Pay Gap Report, and so 2019 will highlight those employers who have improved, and those who have not. Organisations have already started to publish their figures (a snapshot of pay recorded as of 5th April 2018) and according to Personnel Today there are mixed results. 49.6% of the companies to have already submitted their data showed an improving pay gap, with the pay gap declining by an average of 4% from 16% in 2017 to 12%in 2018. In comparison, 35.8% of companies showed that the situation had in fact worsened for the females in their employment, showing the average difference moving from 9.8% in 2017 to 13.8% in 2018.  The remaining 14.6% of companies to have already published their data showed no change from their first report.

While the Gender Pay Gap Report is only a legal requirement for employers with over 250 employees, it would be worthwhile for all employers to review their pay structures to avoid an equal pay claim from their employees. 

Changes to statutory payments

The National Living wage is due to increase to £8.21 per hour from 1st April 2019, while hourly rates will be adjusted as follows:

  • £7.70 for workers aged between 21 and 25
  • £6.15 for workers aged between 18 and 21
  • £4.35 for those aged under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age.
  • £3.90 for apprentices.

The weekly amount for statutory family pay rates will also increase to £148.68 as of 7th April 2019. This rate will apply to maternity pay and allowance, adoption pay, paternity pay, and shared parental pay. The weekly rate for statutory sick pay is expected to increase to £94.25 from 6th April 2019.

2019 will also see rulings in a number of high profile cases from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Employment Appeal Tribunal on topics such as shared parental leave and employment status. The decisions in these cases will be binding on future claims and will have a large impact on how employment law will develop in 2019. It will therefore be important to stay up to date with the latest changes in employment law throughout 2019. To remain up to date throughout the year, you can receive our weekly Employment Law Newsletter by signing up here. If you have any questions regarding this article you can contact Howard or the Employment team on 023 8071 7411 or email


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.