Changes in Employment Law 2017

meetingOver the course of 2017 there are set to be various changes in employment law which will be applied across many different sectors. Here, we take a look at the the important changes and how they might affect your business?

National Minimum Wage

From the 1st April the (NMW) National Minimum Wage is set to increase. The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2017 was approved by resolution of each House of Parliament, in accordance with section 51(5) of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

In terms of numbers this means:

  • For over 25 year olds the NMW increases by 30p from £7.20-£7.50.
  • National Living Wage increases from £7.20 – £7.50 for the over 25’s.
  • For 18-24 year olds NMW increases by 10p from £6.95 – £7.05.
  • For youth development NMW 18-20 year olds 5p from £5.55 – £5.60.
  • Under 18’s will get an increase in NMW of 5p from £4.00 – £4.05.
  • Apprentices will receive 10p increase from £3.40 – £3.50.

Along with an increase in wages there is set to be an increase in the rate of statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay. An increase from £139.58 a week to £140.98 is set to take place from April 2nd.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting Legislation

ACAS and the Government Equalities regulations begins 6th April 2017 for 250+ employees. Employers must collect mean and median pay data, between male and female employees, and the proportion of male and female staff who were paid bonuses.

This is reported annually on a Government website on the 5th April helping to gain a better understanding of the gender pay gap that is discussed so much in the world of business.

Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship levy is for employer’s payroll of £3million, who must pay 0.5% of their totally pay bill from 6th April 2017. Large employers would obtain an amount plus a Government top-up of 10% to fund apprenticeships. Smaller organisations can pay 10% towards the cost of an apprenticeship, with the Government funding the rest.

This will help with apprenticeships across the UK and provide people trying to get their foot in the door of business a range of better opportunities.

Salary Sacrifice Schemes Will Be Abolished April 2017

Employers must reconsider salary sacrifice schemes for tax saving purposes. Old schemes are protected until April 2018. Schemes relating to cars accommodation and school fees are protected until April 2021. Nonetheless child care, cycle to work and pension savings are unaffected.

The Trade Union Act May 2016 – New Rules for 2017

A key change defines ‘Important Public Services’ which are set to come into force 1st March 2017. There will be further balloting requirements in important public services especially:

  • Fire service: Fire fighters and authority personnel.
  • National Health Service: Doctors and nurses in A&E, high-dependency units, acute psychiatry, midwifery and obstetrics and ambulance service.
  • Education of under 17 ‘s in non-fee paying schools.
  • Border force security officers.
  • Transport services including train and London Underground staff, and bus drivers and engineers of a local bus service in London. Civil air traffic control.

Government Review of Employment Tribunal Fees

This consultation closes on the 14th March. The objectives had been met, because the fees generated the anticipated income.

The 70% fall in Employment Tribunal claims has been greater than expected. Many oppose Employment Tribunal fees, stating it will deter people from achieving justice from law-breaking employers.

There are set to be proposals put forward to help those with lower incomes but the idea behind the review of the Employment Tribunal fees is the hope that claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination, wages and redundancy payments can be resolved swiftly and with less financial hassle.

Tax-Free Child Care Scheme

Families with both parents working, where each parent earns less than £100,000 per year are eligible for 20% off child care. (Up to £2,000 per child or £4,000 if the child is disabled). For every £8 the parent pays in, the Government pays £2.

Look out for the launch date early 2017.

Don’t get bogged down by the details, or be concerned with legislation that has not been confirmed.

With a HR consultant, such as Wirehouse, you could be well-informed and ready to take on all changes to legislation, ensuring your business operates within the confines of the new laws and your employees are well looked after.

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