Employment law is central to the UK labour market, with a number of significant changes having been made since the 1970s. Many of these improvements have been implemented in conjunction with EU legislation, creating more favourable conditions for employees at all levels in the workplace.
In simple terms, employment law is a broad area that encompasses all areas of the employer and employee relationship, whilst it includes a number of various rules and administrative regulations for companies to adhere to. There are also clauses that place demands on employees, with the vast majority of legislation protective in its nature.
Below, we’ll explore this further whilst asking what changes have been rolled out since the beginning of April?
The gender pay gap
Every April sees the introduction of new employment legislation, with one of this years’ most important laws surrounding the so-called “gender pay gap”.
This applies to all companies with 250 or more employees, with firms having spent the last year adding the finishing touches to their gender pay gap report. This applies to private sector firms, who must publish their report on a company website and make this publicly accessible to everyone for a minimum of three years.
These results should also be uploaded to the government’s reporting website, and whilst commentary is not required companies with a significant gender pay gap must provide context and move to narrow this over time.
This April also saw the minimum level of employer contribution into a pension auto-enrolment scheme increase, from 2% to 3%.
At the same time, the employee contribution was also hiked from 3% to 5%, meaning that the total payable into a staff member’s pension scheme increased to 8% in total.
This is a significant increase that will be reflected on an employee payslip, but it’s by no means the only change made to this document in April. In short, payslips must also now include additional information for individuals whose pay varies depending on the number of hours that they’ve worked.
The right to a payslip has also been extended to all workers rather than just employees, and this is a major but relatively understated change.
The minimum wage
On a final note, it’s imperative that your company is now paying the national minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over.
This sum has now increased to £8.21 per hour, whilst the rate for those aged between 21 and 24 has also risen to £7.70.
At the same time, workers aged between 18 and 20 are now entitled to earn £4.20 per hour, and you’ll need to reflect this in your payroll for employees of all levels.
All of these changes require you to comply fully, and you may need to seek out HR expertise and consider a number of risk advisory factors. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of losing your top talent and facing significant legislatory disputes.