Irwin Mitchell | Focus on Employment | Summer & Autumn 2016 - Legislation Tracker

Summer and Autumn 2016

12 July Onwards

Changes to immigration controls

The Immigration Act 2016 extends 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.

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

Expected 1 October 2016

Gender Pay Reporting

Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 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.

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

The first period of assessment is expected to be 30 April 2017 but employers will have until 29 April to publish their report.

Date TBC

Repayment of public sector exit payments

Public sector exit payments include those paid for loss of employment, such as 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”, 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.

Date TBC

Tax treatment of termination payments

Proposals include treating all payments in lieu of notice as taxable. The Government’s response to the recent consultation is expected later this year.

Expected October

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.

Summer 2016

Download Summer 2016 issue (pdf)