Employment law update – what’s on the horizon?

Whilst Brexit clearly occupies the minds of politicians and legislators, below we look at some recent and future employment law changes which employers need to be aware of. For more information about Brexit and its possible impact on your organisation, please visit our Brexit page.

Buyers now liable for National Minimum Wage penalties where breaches occurred prior to purchase 

If HMRC decides an employer has failed to comply with National Minimum Wage (NMW), it will order the employer to repay any underpaid sum to the affected workers and impose a financial penalty of up to 200 per cent of the total underpayment to be paid to the treasury. If the total underpayment exceeds £100, the employer will also be publicly named and shamed. HMRC can identify NMW underpayments going back up to six years (five years in Scotland). 

The liability for a NMW underpayment for any employee whose employment transfers to a buyer under TUPE, had always passed to the buyer. However, the penalty imposed would only apply to the employer at the time of the underpayment. The penalty did not transfer to the buyer under TUPE. 

However, from 2 July 2018, where TUPE applies, all liabilities for NMW underpayments, including financial penalties, will transfer to the buyer. Buyers and outsourced service providers should therefore enhance their due diligence where they are taking on employees paid at or near NMW. 

Working parents who have suffered the loss of a child entitled to 2 weeks’ paid leave 

From 2020, employed parents who meet the relevant criteria will be entitled to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. 

Pay statements for all workers and to include number of hours worked

From 6 April 2019, employers must provide all their workers, not just employees, with an itemised pay statement. Also, where the worker is paid according to the time they work, the pay statement must set out the hours worked and must separate out the hours worked which are paid at different rates. Failure to do so could give result in an employment tribunal claim. 

If you have any concerns about the above, please contact Charlie Barnes