DALLIMORE HelenThere are a number of expected changes in employment law in 2018 and beyond and we have prepared a quick reference table so you can check you are up to date and ensure that your business is prepared for what is around the corner. 

The table below, prepared by Helen Dallimore, senior associate, looks ahead to future proposed changes. The expected dates are based on the previous government's announcements to date. 
 
If you would like to discuss any of the points raised, please get in touch with your usual contact in theFoot Anstey employment team.
 

When Expected?

Change

Key points to note

10 March 2018

Draft Trade Union (Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector) Regulations come in to force

The draft Trade Union (Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector) Regulations 2017 were due to come into force on 10 March 2018. However the final regulations have not been published so this measure has not yet been implemented. The Regulations define relevant public sector employers relating to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (section 116B) and when in force will place restrictions on deduction of union subscriptions from wages in the public sector.

30 March 2018 Gender Pay Gap Reporting in the Public Sector

The deadline for publishing gender pay gap reports for the public sector was on this date, which is earlier than the deadline for the charity and private sectors. (See below at 4 April 2018)

31 March 2018 Fit for Work Service (England and Wales)

The assessment services provided by the Fit for Work service in England and Wales ended on this date.

Employers, employees and GPs will continue to be able to use the Fit for Work advice helpline, website and web chat, which offer general health and work advice as well as support on sickness absence.

1 April 2018 Changes to National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

From April 2018, the following increases took place:

  • The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 or over increased from £7.50 to £7.83.
  • The National Minimum Wage rates increased as follows:
    • From £7.50 to £7.83 for 25 and over
    • From £7.05 to £7.38 for 21 to 24 year olds;
    • From £5.60 to £5.90 for 18 to 20 year olds;
    • From £4.05 to £4.20 for 16 and 17 year olds; and
    • From £3.50 to £3.70 for apprentices.
1 April 2018 Increase in Statutory maternity / paternity parental and adoption pay As of this date, statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave increased to £145.18 a week.
4 April 2018 Gender Pay Gap Reporting

The Gender Pay Gap Regulations that came into force on the 6 April 2017 required private and charity sector employers with 250 or more employees as of the 5 April 2017 to publish certain data about their gender pay gap by the 4 April 2018.

The report must be published on the employer's website and on gov.uk so that it is accessible to employees and members of the public.

Please see our article on the gender pay gap, as well our responses to FAQs. Alternatively, you can speak to equal pay expert Karen Bates, partner on +44 (0)1392 685221 or email karen.bates@footanstey.com

6 April 2018 Increase in statutory sick pay

As of this date, statutory sick pay increased to £92.05. 

6 April 2018 Childcare Voucher Scheme

The Childcare Voucher Scheme closed to new entrants on this date.UPDATE the deadline for joining the Scheme has been extended until October 2018

6 April 2018 Termination payments 

Taxation rules governing termination payments is changing including that all Payments in Lieu of Notice (PILONs), not just contractual PILONS, are taxable earnings. From 6 April 2018 regulations also amend the position to provide that part of a termination payment treated as earnings for income tax purposes will be treated as earnings for NICs purposes (so that both employer and employee Class 1 NICs will be due). For more information on the changes, a useful summary is provided here.

6 April 2018 Pension minimum contribution increase Pension minimum contribution levels increased for both employers and employees to an aggregate total of 5%.   See our article Are You Prepared for 2018? for more detail.
6 April 2018 Salary Sacrifice  The tax and NIC benefits of salary sacrifice schemes are now restricted to pensions, childcare, cycle to work and ultra-low emission car benefits. Arrangements that were already in place before April 2017 will have a grace period.  See our article Are You Prepared for 2018? for more detail. 
6 April 2018 Tribunal compensation limits 

The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increased to £83,682.

The maximum amount of a week's pay increased to £508, this figure is used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and other compensatory awards.

6 April 2018 Employment tribunal Vento bands increase  The Vento bands for awards for injury to feelings increased in line with the Retail Price Index. For claims in England and Wales on or after the 6th April 2018, the following bands will apply;
• A lower band of £900 to £8,600 (for less serious cases).
• A middle band of £8,600 to £25,700 (for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band).
• An upper band of £25,700 to £42,900 (for the most severe cases). In exceptional circumstances, awards can exceed £42,900.

25 May 2018

GDPR comes into force

For more information on the impact of this please see our GDPR article by Alex Leonidou, senior associate.

31 May 2018 Fit for Work Service (Scotland) The assessment service provided by the Fit for Work Service will end in Scotland on this date.
October 2018 Childcare voucher scheme Scheme closes to new entrants.
31 December 2018 Deadline for employers to sign up to the Social Care Compliance Scheme For more details on this scheme, please see our November in-brief.

Unknown date: 2018

Ban on corporate directors 

Proposed amendments to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (SBEE Act) will prohibit the appointment of corporate directors.

The ban on the use of corporate directors was proposed to increase corporate transparency as use of corporate directors can make it more difficult for identification of companies' true controllers.

In August, Companies House removed the October 2016 implementation date for the provisions.

Unknown date: 2018

Grandparents leave 

The Government was expected to have a consultation on the proposals to extend shared parental leave to grandparents during 2016 with the aim of it coming into force in 2018. However, this has been pushed back and there is speculation that the proposals have been dropped.  Watch this space! 

2019

Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Act 2018 due to come into force

The Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Bill has now received Royal Assent. The Act will give regular members of the armed forces the right to work part time for temporary periods, and it will temporarily limit "geographical separation" from their home base. Secondary legislation will provide the details of the new flexible working system, including the grounds on which an application can be refused and the maximum amount of times a person can be required to serve without a geographic restriction. The Act will be brought into force in stages by secondary legislation and is expected to be rolled out by April 2019.
2019 Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018

The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 will introduce a number of new reporting requirements for certain companies dependent on their size. These requirements will apply to financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2019.  

The key changes will require:

  • Companies to include a statement describing how their directors have had regard to the matters set out in section 172(1) of the Companies Act 2006, if they are already under an obligation to prepare a strategic report;
  • Companies employing more than 250 staff to provide a directors' report on the extent of employee engagement;
  • Relevant companies to include a statement of engagement with customers and suppliers within the directors' report, detailing how directors have had regard to the need to foster relationships with suppliers, customers and others;
  • Very large companies to provide a statement of their corporate governance arrangements; and
  • Quoted companies to publish, as part of the directors’ remuneration report, the ratio of their CEO’s total remuneration to the median full-time equivalent remuneration of their employees.

For more details, please see our article on the regulations

31 March 2019

Deadline for employers to make payments under the Social Care Compliance Scheme

For more details, please see our November in-brief.

1 April 2019

National Insurance Contributions Bill measures to take effect (including changes to Termination Payments)

The bill will cover changes to the reform of self-employed National Insurance Contributions. In addition, from 6 April 2019, Class 1A NICs (employer liability) will also be applied to termination payments above the £30,000 tax exemption.

6 April 2019  Itemised pay statements  The changes introduced by the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2018 (SI 2018/529) will extend the entitlement for workers to receive itemised pay statements.
Separately, where workers are paid on an hourly rate basis, the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/147) will entitle them to receive payslips which set out the number of hours paid for.
Both pieces of legislation will come into force on the same date being the 6 April 2019.
April 2019 BEIS Reviews BEIS scheduled to have reviewed the ACAS early conciliation scheme and the Flexible Working regulations.
Mid to late 2019 Senior Managers and Certification Regimes

The government has decided to extend the Senior Managers and Certification Regime ("SM&CR") to all financial services firms and replace the current Approved Persons Regime. The ultimate aim of the SM&CR is to make individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence in order to reduce consumer harm and strengthen market integrity. Whilst the detail of the extended regime are still being consulted over it is expected that the key features of the regime will be applied to the sector in the same way as they have been in the banking industry. The Treasury have noted that the principle of proportionality will be particularly important to the extension of the regime as it will need to reflect the diverse business models operating in the market and the size and complexity of firms.  Originally it was anticipated that this would be introduced in 2018 and whilst preparation is likely to be needed during 2018 it is likely to come into force in 2019. 

We will be running a complimentary webinar on this subject later in the year. The webinar will cover how the SM&CR will operate and will include practical advice on how firms can go about implementing the SM&CR into their organisations. To register your interest please contact Helen Dallimore. See our previous article, for background queries or please contact Claire Holland, senior associate or Laura Autiero, solicitor. 

2020 Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act to come into force

This private member's bill received Royal Assent in September 2018,The Act gives all employed parents a statutory right to two weeks' leave if they lose a child under 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy . The employed parents will also be able to claim statutory bereavement pay for this period if they meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

For more information, please contact your usual contact in the Foot Anstey Employment Team or Helen Dallimore, senior associate on +44 1392 685289 or email helen.dallimore@footanstey.com
Tags: Employment and Pensions2017