Pay Times 2019: What employers need to know

While employees, savers and those approaching pension age all had lots to consider following on from the introduction of the new budget measures on 6 April, there were plenty of changes for employers to be aware of too.

Three key areas that businesses need to adapt to were the changes to statutory sick pay (SSP), the increases in statutory parental pay, and the details that now need to be contained on payslips.

The qualifying criteria for SSP and the amount of money employees will be entitled to receive each week, have both changed since the start of the current financial year. Previously, employees in the UK were entitled to SSP if they were sick for four full days or more in a row, and earned on average at least £116 a week before tax. That qualifying criteria has now changed, and to receive SSP, employees will need to earn an average of at least £118 per week. But alongside the increase in qualifying levels, employees will also see the weekly level of SSP increase from £92.05 to £94.25.

Statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay have also all increased, from £145.18 to £148.68. This means that, from 7 April 2019, statutory parental pay has been payable at 90% of an employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, with the remainder of the parental pay period at the rate of £148.68 (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than the statutory rate).

Two important changes to payslips also came into force at the start of the financial year. Firstly, all workers – not just employees – now have the right to a payslip. Secondly, those payslips must include additional information for all workers whose pay varies depending on the number of hours that they have worked. So for example, if a worker has a fixed monthly salary, but then works variable overtime each month which is paid at a variable hourly rate, those hours need to be clearly shown on the payslip – either as a total of all overtime hours, or broken down separately for different types of work or different rates of pay.

The Government has explained that the change to the Employment Rights Act 1996 was necessary to allow more transparency, which as a result will help employees to be more in control of their wages. The amendment is also intended to help to reduce the risk of non-compliance when it comes to paying the correct national living wage and national minimum wage.

This article was written by Amy Sadler. If you have any questions regarding this article you can contact Amy using the form below.

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.


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