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As well as the annual increases to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage (on 1 April) and the rise in statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and adoption pay (on 7 April), and statutory sick pay (on 6 April), employers need to be aware of a couple of pieces of new legislation.

Right to receive an itemised pay statement

All workers will have the right to be provided with an itemised pay statement and the ability to enforce this right at an employment tribunal under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2018 from 6 April. Employers will have to state the hours being paid for on the payslips of all workers paid by the hour. Where a member of staff's pay varies according to time worked, the employer will have to include on the itemised pay statement the total number of hours worked for which variable pay is received. This can be done as an aggregate figure, or as separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay.

Increased financial penalties for employers for an aggravated breach of employment law

From 6 April, under the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 there will be increased financial penalties for employers which will quadruple the maximum penalty for an aggravated breach of employment law from £5,000 to £20,000.

What are aggravating factors? Things a tribunal may take into account include the size of the employer, the duration of the breach of the employment rights, and the behaviour of the employer and of the employee. A tribunal may be more likely to find that the employer's behaviour in breaching the law had aggravating features where the action was committed deliberately or with malice; the employer has a dedicated HR team, and/or the employer had repeatedly breached the employment right concerned.

For more information about what employers need to know in April 2019, check out our #TrowersTopTips here.

This article is taken from HR Law - April 2019.