Employment Law (UK) Update 2017
Trade Union Act:
The Act reforms the rules on trade union ballots for taking industrial action. The main provisions of the Act are :
- 50% turnout threshold for there to be a valid ballot on industrial action.
- Threshold of 40% support from all members in order to take industrial action in key sectors.
- Four month time limit for which the ballot will remain valid to authorise industrial action.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting:
The Government is introducing a completely new requirement for all large organisations to publish their gender pay gap. Employers will need to publish key wage information, and these details will need to include the difference in hourly earnings as well as the gap in bonus pay.
Employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million per year will be liable to pay a new apprenticeship levy. The levy will apply to all industry sectors, in both the public and private sector, for the purpose of raising money to meet the cost of apprenticeship schemes across the UK.
National Living Wage & National Minimum Wage:
Increases in hourly rates of pay for both the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.
- Maternity/Paternity/Adoption : £140.98
- Sick Pay : £89.35
- Lower Earnings Threshold : £113.00
- National Living Wage : £7.50
- Workers aged 21-24 : £7.05
- Workers ages 18-20 : £5.60
- Workers aged 16-17 : £4.05
- Apprentice rate : £3.50
Future changes for both will take place in April of each year (2017,2018..)
The Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017:
From April 2017 employers who sponsor skilled workers under tier 2 of the points based system will have to pay £1,000 per certificate.
Employers should confirm that they have checked that all their current employees have the right to work in the UK, and that they can prove that those checks have taken place. A paper trail will be essential.
General Data Protection Regulations:
Employers will be required to carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process to ensure it meets the General Data Protection Regulations.
Salary Sacrifice Scheme:
Tax savings on specific types of salary sacrifice and benefits are to be annulled.
Tax-free Childcare Scheme:
Over the course of 2017, new tax free childcare schemes are to be put in place, providing up to £2000 of support per child for working parents.
Public Sector Exit Payments:
A limit of £95,000 on exit payments are to come into effect (June 2017).
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