There are big changes coming in 2019, and we’re not just talking about Brexit. As always, there’s a raft of new laws being introduced that will affect how we live and what we can do. These laws span the full extent of our daily lives, and wherever you live or whatever you do for a living, you will be directly affected by some of these.

For drivers, retail workers, EU nationals or business owners, it is important you get up-to-speed on the new laws being introduced in 2019. Also, with new laws introduced all the time and, particularly with the imminent Brexit changes, we expect to bring you more news before the end of 2019.

New motoring laws in 2019

  • Learner drivers can now take lessons on motorways, as long as they are accompanied by an instructor with duel controls. However, these lessons are not compulsory.
  • Smart motorway fines: It is likely that motorists driving in a closed lane marked with an ‘X’ on a smart motorway will receive a fine of £100 and possibly penalty points also. The Government is expected to announce this law change soon and will modify roadside cameras to help identify violations.
  • There are also new MOT checks for under inflated tyres, contaminated brake fluid, reverse lights, brake pad warning lights, missing brake discs and day time running lights.
  • Diesel car tax is no longer a flat rate and will be calculated based on carbon dioxide emissions of the vehicle.
  • Car drivers must now leave a minimum 1.5 metre gap when passing cyclists or risk a £100 fine.

New MOT rules: There are new category classifications for defects on vehicles going through the MOT test. These are:

  • Dangerous – Direct risk to road safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.
  • Major – Could affect safety or the environment. Results in a Fail.
  • Minor – No effect on safety, but should be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Advisory – Could have an effect in future.
  • Pass – Meets the current legal standards.

For more information on new motoring laws, please email our road traffic expert

New laws affecting workers in 2019

  • Both the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage rates will increase in April 2019 and the ‘living wage’ for people aged over 25 will increase from £7.38 to £8.21 per hour, also in April.
  • Tax changes: the personal allowance increases to £12,500 in April 2019, while the higher 40% rate of income tax will increase to £50,000 a year.
  • Equal pay in supermarkets: It is expected that female shop workers will receive equal pay to male warehouse workers at the big supermarkets. This is pending the outcome of a number of tribunal cases currently ongoing.
  • People working ‘sleep-in’ shifts – ie. nurses and care workers – will not be entitled to the National Minimum Wage for the time they spend asleep, where they are available for work, but not actually working. This decision is pending an appeal lodged with the Supreme Court by Unison.
  • Non-employees such as contractors and freelancers now have a legal right to receive a pa
    yslip from April 2019. Employers must also include the ‘total hours worked’ on a payslip, where a wage is dependent on this.

If you need employment law advice, our Head of Employment Yunus Lunat can help – email for more information.

Pension Changes in 2019

  • Auto-enrolment pension contributions for both employers and employees will be increasing in 2019, with minimum contributions from a worker’s pre-tax salary increasing from 2 and 3% to 3 and 5% for employers and employees respectively.
  • Pensioners entitled to the full new single tier pension will receive an increase of £4.25 per week in 2019, taking the weekly payment from £164.35 to £168.60. For the basic state pension, the rise will be £3.25 per week.
  • From April 2019, pension credit payments will rise by 2.4%. This is a means-tested benefit based on earnings and the increase is due to the CPI rate of inflation.
  • The state pension retirement age will gradually increase from 2019, with the aim of reaching 66 by October 2020. It will then increase to 67 by 2028.

New laws affecting businesses in 2019

  • Pay-gap reporting: Businesses of over 250 employees must publish their executive pay gap information from April 2019. Those same organisations must also continue to publish their gender pay gap figures.
  • VAT rules: VAT records must be held in digital form in 2019 and must be filed using software, for all VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold.

Other new laws for 2019

  • Settled status for EU nationals: If a European worker has lived in the UK for five years they can apply for settled status – and remain indefinitely – after the end of the Brexit transition period in 2021. Those who don’t meet the requirements can apply for temporary status.
  • Drone laws: It will be illegal to fly a drone weighing more than 250g without first registering it with the Civil Aviation Authority and passing a series of online safety tests.

For more information on any of these new laws introduced in 2019, please call us on 0113 284 5000.

Share this...