Irwin Mitchell | Focus on Education | Legislation & Regulation Tracker

What does 2016 have in store?

1 January


The requirement to have a Home School Agreement has been abolished although governing boards can continue to adopt one if they choose.

1 January


“Prescribed persons” are required to produce annual reports of whistleblowing disclosures (without identifying the worker who made the disclosure, their employer or other person about whom the disclosure was made).

11 January

Zero hours contracts

Regulations came into force which provides the right to unfair dismissal protection for employees working under a zero hours contract, who are dismissed because the employee has failed to comply with an exclusivity clause.


Recruitment agencies

The Government intends to reform the regulation of recruitment agencies.

1 April

National Living Wage

National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over will be introduced at the rate of £7.20 per hour.

6 April

Statutory payments for SMP

There will be no increase in the weekly rates. These will remain as follows:

  • SMP, SAP, PP and ShPP - £139.58 per week
  • Sick pay - £88.45 per week.

Expected: April

New unpaid award penalties 

Businesses that do not pay Tribunal awards made against them will be subject to a penalty notice of 50% of outstanding amount, subject to a £100 minimum and £5,000 maximum.

Expected: May

Prevent risk assessments

Relevant HE bodies must send HEFCE further documentation about their prevent risk assessment and policies and procedures for topics covered by the statutory prevent guidance.

Date TBC

Trade unions

Proposed trade union reforms expected to take effect.

Date TBC

Exit payments for apprenticeships

The Enterprise Bill 2015-16 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

Gender Pay Reporting

Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 enables the Government to make regulations requiring employers with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap.

Date TBC

Immigration The Immigration Bill once enacted will provide that an employer who has reasonable cause to believe an employee is working in breach of their immigration permissions could face a fine of up to £20,000 and a maximum of five years in prison.

Date TBC

Postgraduate loans

Response by the Government to its consultation on the postgraduate loan scheme due to be introduced for the 2016/17 academic year. The Chancellor in his Autumn Statement said that the scheme would be extended to all students under the age of 60.

Date TBC

Student loans

Publication by the Government of details of its scheme of loans for 19-23 year olds taking courses at levels 3 and 4, and for those aged 19 and over taking course at levels 5 and 6.