What Can We Expect from Employment Law in 2017?

Home Articles Apprentices What Can We Expect from Employment Law in 2017?
a
DSC Copy

Which new laws will be introduced in the coming months that employers need to be aware of? Which cases are expected to develop in 2017 to give employers more clarity on how to manage their employees? And what are other likely areas of movement? Here’s what we expect to be big news over the next 12 months.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

This Government measure aims to create transparency in pay in large public organisations and private sector businesses. Employers with a minimum of 250 employees will be forced to publish data showing the difference between average male and female pay, including bonuses received. Although data does not have to be published until 2018, it is pay details as of 5th April 2017 that need to be analysed and reported on.

Apprenticeship Levy

Another law for the larger employers, those with an annual wage bill of £3 million or more will have to begin to fund their own apprenticeships by paying, every month, into an account set up for them by the Government. These funds are to be invested in apprenticeships: employers will buy training and assessment of apprentices they take on. The levy is not voluntary. Those who meet the criteria must pay even if they do not currently use apprentices.

Minimum Wage and Statutory Rate Increases

The National Minimum/Living Wage will increase in April as shown below:

  • National Living Wage: £7.50 per hour
  • Age 21 – 24: £7.05 per hour
  • Age 18 – 20: £5.60 per hour
  • Over compulsory school age – 17: £4.05 per hour
  • Rate payable to apprentices: £3.50 per hour

Also in April, the following rates will increase (subject to confirmation):

  • Statutory Sick Pay: £89.35 per week;
  • Statutory Maternity, Paternity etc Pay: £140.98 per week
  • Lower Earnings Limit: £113 per week

Salary Sacrifice Tax Restrictions

From April 2017, the tax advantages of salary sacrifice schemes will, in the vast majority, be removed. Salary which is sacrificed will no longer receive special treatment; instead it will be subject to tax and employer’s National Insurance as normal. The only benefits that will continue to receive special treatment are childcare vouchers, pensions, ‘Cycle to Work’ schemes and ultra-low emission cars.

Whistleblowing

Workers are protected against dismissal or detriment when they have ‘blown the whistle’ i.e. made a protected disclosure to their employer or the relevant authority about wrongdoing. Disclosures must be ‘in the public interest’ if they are to be protected. A case to be heard by the Court of Appeal will consider whether a disclosure is in the public interest if it concerns an employment contract affecting 100 people.

Religious Dress

Earlier this year, the European Court of Justice heard a case regarding two employers who had banned the wearing of Islamic headscarves at work. Can employers make such demands on employees or will it be seen as an act of religious discrimination? The ruling is expected during 2017.

And let’s not forgot Brexit

The Government will continue to work towards exiting the European Union, (subject to parliamentary consent if necessary) and is likely to begin formulating some transitional arrangements to deal with the immediate effects of the Exit.

Share:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Social Media

Latest Posts

RIDDOR Landing page v x

What are RIDDOR Regulations & What are Employer’s Responsibilities for RIDDOR Reportable Incidents?

Firstly many people ask what RIDDOR means, RIDDOR stands for reporting injuries diseases, and dangerous occurrences. Accidents at work can happen, even with the best …

An Employer Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

An Employer’s Guide to Disciplinary Action and Police Investigations

Without wishing to delve too heavily into the current (alleged) political shenanigans, there has been much discussion about the announcement of an investigation by the …

covid vaccine 800x296 1

Your Complete Guide to Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccinations

Earlier this month the government announced that The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 amendment had been passed by Parliament. The …

working from home

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers?

Can employers adjust sick pay for unvaccinated workers? There has been a lot of media coverage recently about various companies who are reducing sick pay …

working from home

Working from home: FAQs for employers

This week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the implementation of Plan B of its COVID-19 winter response due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases …