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Employment law update 2019

View profile for Philip Richardson
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Commercial Offices

There have been some key changes regarding the amounts that employees are entitled to from their employers including changes to the minimum wage, statutory payments and compensation limits for cases before the employment tribunal.

It is important that employees are aware of these changes to ensure that they are treated fairly and know their rights regarding their legal entitlements. Likewise, it is important that employers are aware of these changes to ensure that they are compliant with the law and avoid claims being brought against them by their workforce.

The key changes are outlined here:

The national minimum wage

The national minimum wage is not a guideline for employers. It is the legal minimum they can pay their workforce. The increases for this year show a significant change as outlined in the table below:

Age of worker

New minimum wage (from 1st April)

Previous minimum wage

New annual full-time annual wage*

25 and over

£8.21 per hour

£7.83 per hour



£7.70 per hour

£7.38 per hour



£6.15 per hour

£5.90 per hour



£4.35 per hour

£4.20 per hour



£3.90 per hour

£3.70 per hour


*based on a 37.5 hour week

Maternity, paternity and adoption payments            

The basic rate statutory payment for maternity, adoption and paternity leave has increased from £145.18 per week to £148.68 per week. The maximum period that these payments can be paid for has remained at 39 weeks and the maximum statutory amount of leave that can be taken is 52 weeks for maternity and adoption leave and two weeks for paternity leave.

Statutory sick pay

There has been a slight increase in the amount of statutory sick pay an employee must be paid if they become unwell and need to take time away from work. The statutory amount has increased to £94.25 per week from £92.05.

Employment tribunals

There has also been an increase in the compensation limits that can be awarded in an employment tribunal. The table below shows the new limits which came into effect on 6th April 2019.


Maximum award from 6 April 2019

Previous maximum award




Unfair dismissal:

Basic award

Compensatory award



£86,444 (unlimited in some circumstances)




Week’s pay cap to calculate basic awards and statutory redundancy payments



Statutory redundancy pay



Dismissal for health and safety reasons:




£15,750 (min. £6,408)

No limit


£15,240 (min. £6,203)

No limit

Dismissal for making protected disclosure:





No limit



No limit

Contract claims



Failure to conduct collective consultation

90 days’ gross pay**

90 days’ gross pay**

Failure to inform or consult: TUPE transfer

13 weeks’ gross pay**

13 weeks’ gross pay**

Breach of flexible working regulations

8 weeks’ pay (up to £4,200)

8 weeks’ pay (up to £4,046)

Failure to provide a written contract of employment

£1,050 or £2,100

£1,016 or £2,032

**per employee

It is best practice for employers to regularly review their policies and procedures but it is particularly important that they are up to date when changes such as these are introduced to ensure that they are compliant with the law and prevent employment tribunal claims.

If you need help in relation to employment law issues call our expert team on 01616 966 229

Click here to download the latest employment law facts and figures in a pdf.