APRIL 2017 EMPLOYMENT LAW CHANGES – 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

A number of changes to employment law are expected to come into force in April 2017.  For bigger businesses the most significant  change is  the new gender pay reporting requirements, however, for smaller business owners there is still new and changing legislation to be aware of.  Here is our summary of what’s changing and what you need to do.

  1. Brexit

Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday 29 March, which will start the formal process of withdrawing the UK from the EU.  It is not intended that existing employment law will be radically changed once we have left the EU.  However, the biggest issue for the Government to address initially we be how Brexit will affect EU Nationals currently living in the UK, and vice versa.  For employers with EU Nationals in their businesses this will likely be an unsettling time.  

What you need to do:

Nothing for now.  However, be aware of any EU Nationals in your business and how they might be feeling.  Support them if they are feeling unsure, and keep communicating with them as soon as any information is published.

  1. Gender pay gap reporting

Whilst this is likely to only impact on bigger businesses, it is worth being aware of what is now required for companies with more than 250 employees.  These businesses will need to report publicly the differences between the average pay and bonuses of male and female employees.  

What you need to do:

If you are under the threshold then technically nothing.  However, it could be a good prompt to audit pay across your business.  Are male and female employees doing the same job paid equally? Are your salaries in line with market rates? We can help by conducting salary benchmarking as well as pay audits.

  1. Immigration skills charge

The immigration skills charge is expected to come into force on 6 April.  Employers that sponsor skilled workers under Tier 2 will have to pay a levy of £1,000 per certificate of sponsorship per year.  

What you need to do:

We would recommend that employers with migrant workers under Tier 2 carry out an audit to assess the potential cost of this levy.

  1. National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Increases to the national minimum wage and living wage will take effect on 1 April – the figures are as follows:

  • Workers aged 25 and over £7.50 per hour
  • Workers aged 21 to 24 £7.05 per hour
  • Workers aged 18 to 20 £5.60 per hour
  • Young workers under 19 £4.05 per hour
  • Apprentice wage £3.50 per hour

What you need to do:

Make sure you adhere to these new rates, updating contracts as necessary.

  1. Statutory rates

Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay will increase to £140.98 per week

What you need to do:

Make sure you adhere to the rates, and ensure any employee handbooks are updated with the relevant information.  

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We are always available for an informal chat to see if we can help, so get in touch today.