Employers should be aware that there are employment law changes anticipated for 2017 and amid on-going uncertainty resulting from “Brexit.”

Victoria Mitchell, Associate Partner & Head of the Employment Law & HR department at Farleys Solicitors highlights below some of these significant changes:

  1. Gender pay gap reporting begins
  • Organisations with 250 employees or more (and in the private-sector, voluntary sector and public sector) will be required to publish gender pay gap information for the first time. Anticipated April 2017.
  • Employers will be obliged to release information relating to employee pay and bonus pay, as well as information on the number of men and woman in each quartile of the organisations pay distribution.
  • The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 were published on 9 December 2016 and are now subject to parliamentary approval. At the present time, the deadline for the first report is expected to be for the 4 April 2018, based on pay and bonus data from 2016 to 2017.
  1. Apprenticeship Levy
  • Employers with an annual payroll of more than £3 million will be required to pay a 0.5% levy on their total bill starting on 6 April 2017.
  • Large employers will be able to access levied amounts, plus a government top up of 10% to fund apprenticeships from accredited training providers.
  • Smaller organisations that are not required to pay the levy will also be able to receive funding for accredited apprenticeships by contributing 10% towards the cost of an apprenticeship with the government paying the remaining costs.
  1. Salary sacrifice schemes are significantly restricted.
  • Employers may need to reconsider their benefits offerings as tax savings through many salary sacrifice schemes will be abolished from 6 April 2017. Schemes in place prior to April 2017 will be protected until April 2018.
  1. Restraints on public sector exit payments still expected.
  • Restrictions on public sector exit payments, which had been anticipated to come into force in 2016 are still anticipated although implementation dates have not yet been confirmed.
  • Exit payments will be capped at £95,000.00 when public sector employees leave their roles including as a result of redundancy or voluntary exit.
  • Employees earning over £80,000.00 per annum will also be required to repay exit payments if they return to any public sector role within 12 months.
  1. National living wage changes
  • The national living wage for staff age 25 or over rises to £7.50 per hour with effect from 1st April 2017.
  1. Data protection compliance
  • The scope of changes under the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) means that preparing for this will need to be a high priority for employers. Employers will need to carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process to ensure that it meets the conditions of “employee consent.”

Farleys Solicitors LLP specialise in HR and employment law for businesses; including contracts of employment, staff handbooks, director service agreements, disciplinaries, grievances, employee exits, settlement agreements; and Employment Tribunal defence and representation.

If you require any assistance with any of the above please contact Farleys Employment Law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or complete our online contact form.