Irwin Mitchell | Employment Law Update | Legislation Tracker – What’s Coming Up Over the Next 12 Months?

Legislation Tracker – What’s Coming Up Over the Next 12 Months?

 

Legislation 

Details 

Some provisions came into effect on 12 July, others will be implemented at a later date

Changes to Immigration Controls

The Immigration Act 2016 will extend the criminal offence of employing an illegal migrant to employers with “reasonable cause to believe” that the person is an illegal worker and will introduce a new offence of illegal working. Both requirements came into effect on 12 July.

The Secretary of State will also be able to introduce an immigration skills charge on employers who sponsor skilled workers from outside the EEA. Other provisions, not yet taking effect include a requirement for workers engaged in the public sector with public-facing roles to be able to speak fluent English or Welsh.

The Secretary of State will also be able to introduce an immigration skills charge on employers who sponsor skilled workers from outside the EEA.

1 October 2016

Increases to National Minimum Wage Rates

Workers aged 21 to 24 - £6.95

Workers aged 18 to 20 - £5.55

Workers over compulsory school age under 18 - £4.30

Apprenticeship rate - £3.40

*The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over will remain at £7.20

Date TBC – expected to come into force April 2017

Gender Pay Reporting

Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 is now in force and enables the Government to make regulations requiring employers with over 250 employees to publish information about their gender pay gap. Draft Regulations have been published. Final Regulations have been delayed, but are expected to be published later this year.

Pay will include basic pay, paid leave, sick pay, area allowances shift premium and bonuses but will not include overtime, redundancy payments, salary sacrifice schemes or benefits in kind.

The first period for assessment is expected to be 30 April 2017 but employers will have until 29 April 2018 to publish their report. These dates are not expected to change despite the delay to the Regulations coming into force.

Date TBC

Repayment of Public Sector Exit Payments

Qualifying individuals will be obliged to notify their new and previous employer where they propose to return to any part of the public sector (as an employee, self employed contractor or office holder) after they have received a public sector exit payment within the previous 12 months.

Public sector exit payments include those paid for loss of employment, including enhanced redundancy payments, discretionary payments to buy out actuarial reductions to pensions and severance payments. It does not apply to payments in lieu of notice, contractual bonus payments or those made in connection with incapacity, or payments awarded to the individual by a court or tribunal.

Qualifying individuals are those who earned £80,000 or more within 12 months of receiving their exit payment.

Repayment will be tapered, so for example, an employee returning within two months of receiving an exit payment will repay more than an employee returning nine months after receiving the payment.

Date TBC

Exit Payments and Apprenticeships

The Enterprise Act 2016 will introduce:

  • A £95,000 cap on exit payments made to public sector workers to end six-figure payoffs
  • Regulations to restrict the use of the word "apprenticeship" to Government-accredited schemes and to increase the number of public sector apprenticeships offered.

Date TBC

Trade unions

Proposed changes to balloting rules for industrial action including enhanced rules for “essential public services” (not yet defined), removing the prohibition on using agency staff to cover striking employees, measures on picketing, facility time, political donations and additional powers for the Certification Officer.

Note: the Trade Unions Act 2016 will be brought into force on dates to be appointed in regulations made by statutory instrument.

Date TBC – expected to come into force in October 2016

Company directors

All company directors should be natural persons (not corporate entities). There will be a 12 month grace period after which corporate directors will cease to be directors by operation of law.

April 2017

Apprenticeship Levy

Apprenticeship levy is scheduled to come into effect in April 2017. Draft Regulations have not yet been published but are expected to require employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year to pay a levy charged at a rate of 0.5% of their annual pay bill. An allowance of £15,000 is available to offset the levy.

Pay bill is based on the total amount of earnings subject to Class 1 secondary NICs.

Businesses that already operate levy systems will not be exempt and will be required to pay the levy.

April 2018

Tax Treatment of Termination Payments

All PILON’S (payment in lieu of notice clauses) will become taxable and treated as earnings.



Employment Law Update - September 2016