What to look out for in Employment Law in 2019

Posted by Paula Kathrens on

Paula Kathrens has written an article that was first published in People Management on 2 January.

What employment law developments should HR professionals be aware of in the year ahead?

As Donald Rumsfeld said, there are the known knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. And these are also useful categories for employment law developments in 2019. 

Brexit is the biggest ‘known unknown’ 

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The withdrawal agreement and political declaration about future relations were approved by the EU on 25 November but, at the last minute, the meaningful vote by MPs scheduled to take place on 11 December was called off by Theresa May. Currently, there seems little chance that the agreement will be approved by MPs. In those circumstances, the options appear to be to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, leave the EU with no deal, a general election or a second referendum. 

Other developments:

  • Sexual harassment    

  • Data protection  

  • Modern Slavery Act 2015 
  • Gender pay reporting 
  • Ethnicity pay reporting 

April developments

There are some April dates that can be added to the 2019 diary with some definite ‘known knows’. 

From 1 April, the hourly rate of the national living wage and national minimum wage increases for workers aged:

  • 25 and over from £7.83 to £8.21

  • 21-24 from £7.38 to £7.70

  • 18- 20 from £5.90 to £6.15

  • 16- 17 from £4.20 to £4.35


The apprenticeship rate increases from £3.70 to £3.90.

From 6 April, statutory sick pay (SSP) increases from £92.05 to £94.25 a week. 

From 7 April, the statutory rates for family-friendly leave increases from £145.18 a week to £148.68.    

From 6 April, employees (and, for the first time, workers) must receive an itemised pay statement setting out the hours worked where pay varies. Employers should check now that their payroll systems are able to comply with these changes.  

The government's Flexible Working Task Force – co-chaired by the CIPD and made up of policy makers, employer groups, trade unions and professional bodies – will evaluate the effectiveness of the Flexible Working Regulations in April 2019. 

Finally, for the ‘unknown unknowns’, we'll just have to wait and see what this year brings. 

To read the article in full, please click here

About the Author

Paula is a Partner in our Employment law team advising organisations in both the public and private sectors on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law.

Paula Kathrens
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