Commercial Quarterly Update April 2019

Brexit - Get Real! 

With the political situation and process so unclear many people have asked what the legal position will be following Brexit coming into being. Many have thought that EU Law will disappear but that is simply not the case. Whether the UK exits with a deal or not the EU Law will remain in place when either the no-deal exit starts or the UK goes into an agreed transition period. The UK will only be able to change any EU Law either when the period for a no deal exit starts or at the end of the transition period. The likely transition period is two years. It appears even then that whilst the government can change many laws that it has very little plans to change anything. Recently we asked one of our local MP’s and it is evident that the government has no clear plan. Ironically there may be fewer new laws than usual because the Government is so distracted by the Brexit process itself. We will keep a careful eye on developments and update as we know more.

Where did the agreement say that?

When entering into a new commercial relationship with a new supplier for essential services and/or goods for your business, it is easy to get caught up with negotiating the commercial aspects and inadvertently forget about the small print. Businesses can find that key terms and conditions, which form part of the contractual relationship, are hidden in the small print at the bottom of the page or are contained on the reverse of a quotation. Terms which often catch businesses out include:
 
  • auto-renewal of the agreement term, where specific notice is required to terminate;
  • the supplier’s right to increase prices each year;
  • limited or no additional contractual right to terminate the agreement; and
  • that the supplier’s liability under the contract may, despite statutory safeguards, be significantly limited or excluded. 

Employment Update

On 1 April 2019 the National Minimum Wage increased to: 

Hourly rate     Age 
£8.21             25 and over 
£7.70             21 to 24 
£6.15             18 to 20 
£4.35             School leave age to 17 
£3.90             Apprentices 

The above rates of pay will apply to the next pay reference period that begins on or after 1 April 2019 or when an employee reaches a new age bracket. For example an employee paid on 28th of the month will start receive the new rate of minimum wage on 29th April.

Payslips

From 1 April 2019 all workers (including agency workers) must now receive a payslip, with some limited exceptions, such as those genuinely self employed. 

Payslips must include: 
  • the gross amount and the net amount of salary or wages to be paid; 
  • the amounts of any variable or fixed deductions; 
  • a breakdown of how the wages will be paid if more than one payment method is used (e.g. cash and cheque); and 
  • if applicable, any variable hours worked (overtime, where the rate per hour varies or the hours per pay period varies).

Compensation Limits

The key compensation limits which come into effect from 6 April 2019 are:

Maximum week’s pay for calculating unfair 
dismissal basic and additional awards and                        £ 525
statutory redundancy pay

Maximum statutory redundancy payment/ 
unfair dismissal basic award                                              £15,750

Maximum unfair dismissal compensatory 
award                                                                                 £86,444
For assistance with Employment Law advice, drafting commercial contracts or a commercial contract dispute please contact a member of the Commercial team on 01380 733300 or at Commercial@wansbroughs.com.

Last updated 01/05/2019