Employment Law Update – Things to be aware of for 2017
2017 brings some uncertainty for business following Brexit and there are also some changes in employment legislation for employers to be aware of. Here is our update and advice for how your HR department should be preparing:
1. Gender Pay Reporting
Employers with over 250 employees will soon be required to publish information on staff pay related to the numbers of men and women employed. Subject to the approval of Parliament, the regulations are likely to commence from April 2017, from which point employers will have up to 12 months to publish this information.
We advise that employers look at their HRIS systems and general HR reporting mechanisms to ensure that they can produce the information easily and accurately. Reports will need to be submitted quarterly.
2. Data Protection – General Data Protection Regulation
New regulations on Data Protection (effective from May 2018) come into force before the UK exits the EU – therefore employers should prepare now. Employers will need to carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process to ensure that meets the conditions for employee consent outlined in the regulations. Non-compliance can risk fines of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of turnover.
We advise that you begin to review your record keeping, in particular, in relation to policies related to privacy notices and subject access requests.
3. The Apprenticeship Levy
From April, employers with a yearly payroll of £3 million, will be required to contribute a 0.5% levy of this wage bill towards the new government apprenticeship initiative. This will be collected through the PAYE system. Employers in England will be able to reclaim their contributions as digital vouchers to pay for training apprentices. Employers who do not pay the levy must contribute 10% of funding towards the cost of their apprenticeship training, choosing their training provider in the usual way
If your paybill is under the £3million threshold, we advise that you think now about your future requirements for training. Companies that are not eligible for the levy, need to negotiate pricing with the relevant training providers directly. Any apprentices that you currently have employed (prior to April 2017) will continue to receive funding under the current system until the duration of that apprenticeship.
4. National Living Wage
The Government’s National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and is currently set at £7.20 per hour. In April 2017 it will go up to £7.50. The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 25 still applies, however this will also increase in April to £7.05 for 21 to 24 year olds, £5.60 for 18 to 20 year olds and to £4.05 for those under the age of 18. The apprentice rate will increase to £3.50.
Sereniti are always on hand to guide you through industry changes and legislation updates. Should you wish to discuss your HR policies to ensure you comply with changes to employment law, or for general advice on HR best practice, do not hesitate to contact me.