With Christmas & New Year approaching, what Employment Law changes do businesses need to prepare for in 2018?
Matthew Pinto-Chilcott of Consensus HR comments “We will see a number of Employment Law changes happening from Gender Pay reporting for all sectors to ensuring that any Payment In Lieu Of Notice (PILON) is taxable. May will see the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulations, which will now include hefty fines for failure to follow of up to 4% of global turnover with the future of Grandparental Leave still unknown and whether the Government will pursue the policy.”
30 March 2018 – Gender pay gap reporting for public sector employers
Private and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland with at least 250 employees will be required to publish information about the differences in pay between men and women in their workforce, based on a pay bill ‘snapshot’ date of 5 April 2017, under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. The first reports must be published by 4 April 2018.
Similar reporting requirements apply to larger public sector employers from 31 March 2017 and the first reports are due by 30 March 2018.
Provisions under the Northern Irish Employment Act 2016 mirror these, except they also include fines of up to £5,000 for non-compliance, and a requirement to report on ethnicity and disability pay gaps, as well as gender.
For more information see next weeks blog which discusses GDPR in further detail.
April 2018 – Taxation of termination payments
The government plans to make changes to the taxation of termination payments from April 2018. The proposals include:
- removing the distinction between contractual and non-contractual PILONs (payments in lieu of notice) so that all PILONs are taxable and subject to Class 1 NICs
- ensuring that the first £30,000 of a termination payment remains exempt from income tax and that any payment paid to any employee that relates solely to the termination of the employment continues to have an unlimited employee NICs exemption
- aligning the rules for income tax and employer NICs so that employer NICs will be payable on payments above £30,000 (which are currently only subject to income tax)
A government consultation on the issue closed in October 2016.
4 April 2018 – Gender pay gap reporting for private sector employers
Private sector employers must publish first reports before this date (with a snapshot date of 5 April 2017).
April 2018 – Restricting Employment Allowance for illegal workers
The government plans to introduce a further deterrent to the employment of illegal workers. From April 2018, employers will not be able to claim the Employment Allowance for one year if they have:
- hired an illegal worker
- been penalised by the Home Office
- exhausted all appeal rights against that penalty.
A consultation containing draft regulations closed in January 2017.
25 May 2018 – General Data Protection Regulation
The government has confirmed it will be implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which applies to all EU Member States from 25 May 2018, even though the UK is leaving the EU
The new rules give individuals:
- easier access to their own data
- a ‘right to be forgotten’
- a right to know when their data has been hacked.
Organisations will benefit from having:
- a single set of data protection rules across the EU and
- one supervisory authority, rather than the current 28. Notifications to supervisory bodies are also being scrapped. But companies may be required to:
- pay a fine of up to 4% of global turnover if they breach the new rules
- appoint a data protection officer in certain circumstances.
Exemptions apply for SMEs for whom data processing is not a core business activity, and these employers may also charge a data access fee where requests are ‘manifestly unfounded’ or ‘excessive.’
The ICO has a range of information and resources on the new rules, including a 12-step guide, and more information is available in our Data protection, surveillance and privacy at work Q&As.
June 2018 – EU Trade Secrets Directive
To introduce an EU-wide definition of “trade secret” and provide protections against unlawful acquisitions, use or disclosure.
To be confirmed – Grandparental Leave
In March 2016, David Cameron’s government restated its intention to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents by 2018. However, a consultation planned for May 2016 did not take place, and Theresa May’s government has yet to indicate whether it intends to pursue the policy.