Don’t you just love April?
Spring is springing, the weather's getting better and summer is just around the corner.
Oh, and there are all those new employment laws and changes to pay and working practices to start getting on top of.
Fortunately, this year we’ve compiled our list of things you need to be considering as the new financial year kicks into life. Ready? Here goes…
1. Make sure your payslips are updated to meet new legal requirements
From April 6 there are a couple of changes to payslips which you must apply to those issued for pay periods starting on or after this date.
Firstly, all workers now have the right to get a payslip – not just employees.
On top of this, if an employee’s pay varies depending on how many hours they have worked, the payslip must make clear what they are being paid for.
So in any situation where “the amount of wages or salary varies by reference to time worked” payslips will have to show hours worked either as a single, combined amount or broken down in the hours worked for different rates of pay.
The idea is that those employees working on variable-time will be able to check that they have been paid correctly and are receiving at least the national minimum wage.
2. The National Minimum Wage
And on the subject of the national minimum wage, new rates came into play from the start of this month.
The national living wage for workers aged 25 and over has now increased to £8.21 per hour on 1 April 2019, whilst the hourly rate for workers aged 21 to 24 has gone up to £7.70, £6.15 for workers aged 18 to 20 and to £4.20 for workers under 18 but who are no longer of compulsory school age.
It is every company’s responsibility to ensure they are paying these minimum standards.
3. Sick pay increases and statutory family-related pay changes
From April 6 the weekly rate for statutory sick pay goes up to £94.25. This is the bare minimum that you must ensure you are paying to be compliant with the law of the land.
Similarly, the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay also increases to £148.68 after April 7.
And there are also new limits on statutory redundancy pay which came into force on April 6, meaning you must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount, set at £525.
As well as ensuring you are paying these minimum rates, you need to check that all your paperwork is also updated to reflect them.
4. Keep preparing for Brexit
Hopefully as this month unfolds we will start to get at least some clarity over where Brexit is heading.
But even if we don’t there are still things to be cracking on with to try to get yourself Brexit-ready. If you have EU citizens on your payroll, help them with their Settled or Pre-Settled Status applications. If you export, make sure you are ready for any changes in border procedures. And if you import from the EU, start to think about alternative arrangements if necessary.
Most importantly, try to keep an eye on developments and assess just what change may be heading your businesses’ way.
5. Start work on your 2019 modern slavery statement
If you have a total turnover of at least £36 million per year you’ll have to publish annual modern slavery and human trafficking statements.
The Home Office has already written to the companies involved and suggested – though it is not set in stone – that these statements should be published within six months of the end of the organisation’s financial year.
This is a major piece of work and now is the time to start getting to grips with it if it applies to your workplace.
And if you need any help or advice on HR matters in your workplace, just click the link for a free consultation.