As 2018 starts to gather momentum, we take this opportunity to look forward to see what is on the horizon in terms of employment law.
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply from 25 May 2018. The Information Commissioner's Office has published draft guidance on consent under the GDPR. The guidance will be updated in due course. The legislation will have an impact on employment law and practices and we shall update you more fully on how to comply with GDPR from a HR perspective in the near future.
- Childcare voucher schemes will be closed to new entrants as of 6 April 2018.
- BEIS is scheduled to review the Shared Parental Leave Regulations.
- The Government’s response to the Taylor Review, which focused on modern working practices, including how the Government should act to ensure rights and fair pay for gig economy workers, is awaited.
- We can expect further case law developments in terms of the ‘gig economy’.
- From 6 April 2018, the distinction between contractual and non-contractual Payments in Lieu of Notice (PILONs) will be removed, so all PILONs will be taxable and subject to class 1 national insurance contributions. The exemption from income tax and national insurance contributions for termination payments up to the current threshold of £30,000 will be retained and employer national insurance contributions will now be payable on termination payments above £30,000.
- The deadline for larger employers to publish their first Gender Pay Gap reports providing information about the differences in pay between men and women in their workforce will arrive. Private and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland with at least 250 employees must publish their first report by 4 April 2018.
- There will be an increase to statutory payments in April 2018, with statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay increasing from £140.98 to £145.18 per week, and statutory sick pay increasing from £89.35 to £92.05 per week.
- The national minimum wage and national living wage hourly rates will increase from 1 April 2018. BEIS has produced the government's response to the Low Pay Commission's Autumn report 2017. See page 2 for a summary of rate increases.
- The minimum employer contribution into auto-enrolment pension schemes will increase from 1% to 2% on 6 April 2018.
- New referrals to the Fit for Work Scheme will end in England and Wales on 31 March 2018, and in Scotland on 31 May 2018.
- Political discourse will continue in relation to Brexit. Any developments relevant to employment law will be covered by us in depth.
We will continue to update you through JEL alerts and more detailed analysis as the year unfolds. We wish all of our readers a happy and prosperous 2018.
If you would like to discuss and of the forthcoming changes, or you require support on any employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact the team on 0141 331 5150.