What's New in 2019?!

This year brings a number of important changes to legislation and with Brexit looming we are being pro-active; if you or your business have any direct HR, staffing or industry specific queries we are here to assist so please just ask us. 

Brexit – March 2019

The government has recently provided some reassurance on the position of EU nationals in a no-deal scenario, promising that they and their family members residing in the UK by 29th March 2019 will be able to continue to live and work here. There are practical steps which can be taken now to reassure European employees and help them understand the immigration requirements.  

European nationals and their family members currently in the UK may have the option to apply under the current system for a permanent residence document.   To do this an individual must have accumulated 5 years continuous residence in the UK and evidence this in line with free movement rules, such as working.  If the draft Withdrawal Agreement is ratified, individuals will continue to be able to apply for a permanent residence document up to 31st December 2020.     There can be a real advantage in obtaining this since it can then be used to support a British nationality application and effectively allows individuals to bypass the new incoming EU settlement scheme.

EU settlement scheme

For those who cannot apply for permanent residence they will have to wait until the EU settlement scheme is rolled out at the end of March 2019.   The EU settlement scheme will apply to EU citizens and their family members who are residing in the UK by 29th March 2019 (in a no-deal scenario) or by 31st December 2020 (if the Withdrawal Agreement goes ahead).

The government clarified that ‘residing’ means being in the UK by that date, so even entering on that day would enable someone to come within the scheme.  They will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled’ status to bring them up to the required continuous 5 years for settled status.  The deadline for applications will be 30th June 2021 if the deal goes ahead and 31st December 2020 in the event of a no-deal.

It’s not yet clear what will happen when, inevitably, people fail to apply for the required settled or pre-settled status by the deadline. However, it’s looking likely that those individuals would be in the UK unlawfully and it would be a criminal offence to employ them.

**Correct as of 27th December 2018

Pay and rate rises - April 2019

Workers aged 25+ rises from £7.83 to £8.21;

  • Workers aged 21-24 rises from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour;
  • Workers aged 18-20 rises from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour;
  • Workers aged 16-17 rises from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour;
  • Apprentice rate rises from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour;
  • Accommodation offset rises from £7.00 to £7.55 per day;
  • Statutory Sick Pay rises from £92.05 to £94.25 per week, and;
  • Statutory Maternity, Statutory Paternity, Statutory Adoption and Statutory Shared Parental pay rises from £145.18 to £148.68 per week.

Payslips to state hours worked where pay varies – April 2019

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 provides that, where an employee's pay varies by reference to time worked, employers must include the number of hours for which the employee is being paid on his or her itemised pay statement. The change is designed to make it easier for hourly paid staff to ensure that they are paid correctly and to address underpayments.