Key Important Employment Law Changes 2017
Gender Pay Gap Information
Employment Law Changes 2017 brings with it the much publicised gender pay gap reporting. Under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 you are deemed to be a “relevant” employer if you are a private or voluntary business with over 250 relevant employees based in GB.
Relevant employees in this context are as defined by s.83 of the Equality act 2010.
Relevant employers must have their first gender pay gap report by 4th April 2018. The “snapshot” date when employers must capture the pay data is 5 April 2017 and every 12 months from then.
Companies must make preparations now. It is necessary to decide which board level director is to be responsible for signing off the report each year. The report will have to be placed onto the employer’s website and also it will be published by the Government.
Reporting will have to follow a set format which includes mean and median gender bonus gaps.
The current gender pay gap for 2016 is 18.1%. This figure has reduced from the first notified gender pay gap by the Office of National Statistics of 27.5% in 1997.
The 6th April 2017 brings the much published Apprenticeship Levy into force. This will apply to all employers in both the public and private sector.
The apprenticeship levy was announced in the 2015 summer budget and its aim is for employers to invest in apprenticeships by funding the costs of apprenticeship training and assessment.
If your pay bill is more than £3 million you will be liable for the apprenticeship levy and it will be collected through your PAYE system just as income tax and national insurance contributions are.
How is the apprenticeship levy calculated?
Employers have an annual allowance of £15,000 and the levy is set at 0.5% of an employers pay bill so employers with less than a £3 million pay bill won’t qualify. As an employer you will still receive government support for your apprenticeships.
Reduction in Salary Sacrifice Schemes
The Chancellor deemed certain salary sacrifice schemes to be unfair. He has stated that from 6th April 2017 employees and employers who use these schemes will pay the same taxes as everyone else.
Certain schemes in place before 5 April 2017 will be protected until April 2018 and ultra-low emission cars, childcare, cycle to work and pensions saving schemes will be protected until April 2021.
It’s not far away! Employers are advised to make arrangements with their employees and payroll now if they have not done so already.
Immigration Skills Charge
Employment law changes 2017 also brings changes to employing migrant workers. Employers who employ migrant workers under tier 2 of the points based system will have to pay £1,000 for the certificate of sponsorship per year, however this is significantly reduced for small employers and charities (£364). Additionally the minimum salary threshold is increasing to £30,000.
National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
As you would expect with employment law changes 2017, the NMW and NLW will be reviewed. These will now increase in line with each other every April, beforehand they changed in October and April respectively.
Redundancy Rate Increase
The weekly amount for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy pay increases from £479 to £489 from 6th April 2017.
Family Related Statutory Pay Rates
Effective from 2nd April 2017 is the increase to maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay.
Statutory Sick Pay
Also increases effective 6th April 2017 to £89.35 a week.
Public Sector Payments
We reported this back in April 2016, however we are still awaiting an implementation date. Please see our blog from April 2016 for more details.
Trade Union Act
This is a hot topic right now with the tube and train strikes we’ve recently been experiencing. The upcoming (yet to be confirmed) implementation of the relevant provisions in the Trade Union Act should hopefully bring some relief to commuters and employers.
In short we will see the need for a 50% turnout of those entitled to vote. Furthermore, for “important public services” such as health, education and transport there will be the added requirement of 40% of those voting for industrial action.
Also we will see an increase to the notice period that a trade union must provide, it will double from 7 to 14 days.
If you need any help and advice understanding how these changes will affect your business please contact us on 01455 231982 | 07716 918272