Are you up to date with the latest employment law? It’s a fast-changing area with further changes planned for the coming year, so let Martin Bloom of Hegarty Solicitors bring you up to speed
Last year was a very active year in employment law, with more changes to come in 2018. For employers, being prepared for these changes will make the process easier and ensures they are less likely to break the law. So here are some employment law changes from 2017 and on into 2018 to be aware of.
NATIONAL LIVING WAGE
The national living wage paid to workers aged 25 or over will rise from £7.50 per hour to £7.83 per hour in April.
GPDR (GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS)
These will replace the current provisions in the Data Protection Act in May, and will enable the UK to maintain its ability to share data with EU states post-Brexit.
REPEAL OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES ACT
A Bill will be introduced to repeal the current Act in order to provide certainty for individuals and businesses post Brexit negotiations.
6 POINT PLAN FOR THE GIG ECONOMY
This follows the Taylor Review. The plan includes promoting technology that benefits the workforce and to create a fairer tax system. There may also be a greater emphasis on increasing the rights of workers to bring them into line with employee rights.
THE TRADE UNION BILL
This came into force in March last year. It includes changes to trade union laws such as ballots that now require a 50 per cent turnout to be effective and union supervision of picketing.
PERSONAL INCOME TAX
The Personal Allowance for income tax will be increased from £11,500 to £11,850 in April 2018 and the threshold for higher rate income tax will rise from £45,000 to £46,350. The Government intends to increase the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 by 2020-21.
Existing arrangements will remain protected until April. For new schemes, as of April 2017, the only benefits that will receive a benefit from tax and National Insurance relief include childcare vouchers, cycle to work equipment, ultra-low emission cars and enhanced employer pension contributions.
30 HOURS FREE CHILDCARE PER WEEK
As of September, the provision of free childcare (for eligible working parents) for children aged between three and four has increased to up to 30 hours per week.
GENDER PAY GAP REPORTING
Large private sectors and voluntary sector employers must publish their First Gender Pay Gap Reports by no later than April 4, 2018.
Following a consultation paper launched in March 2017 the Government proposes amendments to the Equality Act to include caste as a protected characteristic within the definition of race discrimination. Abolition of Employment Tribunal fees We can expect a considerable increase in the numbers of claims to Tribunals.
Hegarty Solicitors 01733 346333, www.hegarty.co.uk