There has been much speculation over the last three months as to
the extent to which UK employment law will be affected by the
Brexit decision. It is clear, however, that speculating about what
laws may change is speculation in itself, and we will not know what
the impacts will be for some time yet.
However, the more immediate impact of Brexit is on the timing of
new laws that were previously due – it appears that the
Government machinery in producing these new laws has slowed, and we
are seeing real delays in the launching of consultations and the
publication and implementation of new laws.
The delay which is probably of greatest significance to larger
employers is to the publication of the final version of the gender
pay gap legislation. Although it was expected that these
regulations would be published in the summer and come into force on
1 October 2016, the implementation date has been delayed until
April 2017 – and we are still waiting for the final
That said, we anticipate that the first reports which will need
to be made under the new law will still be due by the end of April
2018, as originally proposed. Employers will just have less time to
act if they have to deal with any last minute changes.
The gender pay reporting rules will apply to private and
voluntary sector employers with at least 250 employees, and the
government has recently launched a consultation on extending gender
pay reporting to include large public sector employers.
The consultation on grandparent leave which was expected this
summer has also been delayed.
In October 2016, only limited employment law changes are coming
National Minimum Wage (NMW) - rate increases
From 1 October, the following new hourly rates apply:
Workers aged 21 to 24: £6.95
Development rate: £5.55
Young workers (workers aged 16 or 17): £4.00
The National Living Wage (NLW), the minimum rate payable to
employees aged 25 and over, will not increase from the current rate
of £7.20 per hour.
Corporate Directors – ban
A ban on "corporate" directors is expected to come
into force in October 2016. The general condition that company
directors must be natural persons (i.e. actual people) is one of a
number of measures which the UK committed to during the G8 summit
in June 2013 to enhance corporate transparency. There will be a
grace period of 12 months from the date the new law comes into
force, after which any corporate directors will cease to be
directors by operation of law.
Finally, an additional employment law change is on the
Tax-free Childcare Scheme
Under the new scheme, which is expected to be launched in early
2017, eligible working families may be able to claim up to 20% of
their yearly qualifying childcare costs for children under five and
for children with disabilities under 17.
After this tax-free childcare scheme has been launched,
employers cannot offer childcare vouchers on a tax-exempt basis
under the current employer-supported system to new employees.
However, employees who are already on that voucher system can
remain on it while their employer continues to operate it. For
employers which currently offer childcare vouchers through salary
sacrifice, giving them a NICs saving, this change may involve a
Everyone has sympathy for employees who are genuinely unwell. When advising employers about employees suffering from stress, various medical conditions and resultant absence, it is these words that come up again and again.
In our article published in HR Zone, we consider the introduction of the new rules on regulatory references which come into force on 7 March 2017 and the practical steps that employers must take to comply...
Most of us know the difference between being employed and being self-employed (or at least we think we do). And in everyday laymen's terms, the difference is relatively straightforward and obvious – if you are employed, you work for someone else and, if you are self-employed, you ‘work for yourself'.
This coming year looks to be another busy one with more significant employment law changes coming into force and we have highlighted some of the key changes, which range from the introduction of gender pay...
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