From 6 April 2019, amendments to the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA 1996”) will take effect that ought to not only increase transparency in the labour market but also serve to bolster the rights of all workers. So what precisely are these changes?
Firstly, the right to itemised pay statements and the associated enforcement provisions found in the ERA 1996 will extend to all workers including casual and zero-hours workers. This means that every worker (and not just employees) will have the right to be given a written itemised payslip at or before the time at which any payment of wages or salary is made to them.
In addition, changes will be introduced to the content of the itemised payslip itself. Presently, Section 8 of the ERA 1996 requires a written itemised pay statement to contain the following details:
- The gross amount of the wages or salary;
- The amounts of any variable, and any fixed, deductions from that gross amount and the purposes for which they are made;
- The net amount of wages or salary payable; and
- Where different parts of the net amount are paid in different ways, the amount and method of payment of each part-payment.
The amendments will require payslips to further state the total number of hours that are being paid where wages or salary vary according to the time worked. This information can be illustrated either by a single aggregate number of hours or separate figures for different types of work or rates of pay. This ought to prove particularly useful for those individuals that work variable hours.
The above changes will not apply in relation to wages or salary paid in respect of a period of work which commences before 6 April 2019. Thereafter, however, if an employer either fails to give a worker an itemised statement or gives a worker a statement that does not comply with the above requirements, the worker will be entitled to make a reference to an employment tribunal to determine what particulars ought to have been included or referred to in the statement.
This expansion of the current law reflects the Government’s recent response to the Taylor Review and is a significant step forward in helping individuals understand their pay more clearly.