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What will be the key changes in Employment Law in 2018?

Employment law – Kay Changes in 2018

April 2018 – Gender Pay Gap: First Reports

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.

April 2018 – Termination Payments: Taxation

The government plans to make changes to the taxation of termination payments. 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)

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 Regulations

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 (see the Information Commissioner's blog).

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.'

2018 – Grandparental Leave

In March 2016, the government confirmed its plans to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents by 2018. However, to date, no consultations have been issued on this subject.