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Employment Law Update

Legislation Tracker - 2018

Expected Changes

10 March 2018

Trade Unions - check off provisions

Public authorities will be subject to restrictions in respect of deducting union subscriptions from wages.

30 March 2018

Gender pay gap reporting

Date by which all applicable public authorities must publish their gender pay gap data for the period 31 March 2017. The report must be published on the government website and a searchable UK website that is accessible to employees and the public.

Increases to National Minimum Wage rates and Living Wage

The National Living Wage will increase from £7.50 to £7.83
NMW will increase as follows:

  • Workers aged 21 to 24 – from £7.05 to £7.38
  • Workers aged 18 to 20 – from £5.60 to £5.90
  • Workers aged over compulsory school age under 18  - from £4.05 to £4.20
  • Apprentices - from £3.50 to £3.70

1 April 2018

Pension changes - auto enrolment

Various changes to the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) pension scheme are expected including allowing participating employers to contractually enrol their employees into the scheme.

1 or 9 April 2018*

Increases to the statutory rates for maternity, paternity, shared parental pay, adoption and sick pay

Statutory rates for everything other than sick pay will increase from £140.98 to £145.18 or 90% of average earnings if lower. Statutory sick pay will increase from £89.35 to £90.05.

*These changes usually come into effect on first Sunday of April, but the government’s announcement suggested 9 April.

4 April 2018

Gender pay gap reporting

Date by which all applicable businesses must publish their gender pay gap data for the period 5 April 2017. The report must be published on the government website and a searchable UK website that is accessible to employees and the public.

6 April 2018

Increases in statutory payments and tribunal awards

The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissals taking effect from 6 April 2018 will increase from its current rate of £80,541 but the amount of increase has not yet been announced. A week’s pay (used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and the basic award in unfair dismissal claims) will also increase from its current rate of £489 (gross) but the amount of increase has not been announced yet.

Payments received on or after 6 April 2018

Taxation of termination payments

Where an employee receives an ex gratia payment but has not worked their full notice period, it will be deemed to include a payment in lieu of notice which will be assessed by reference to a fixed formula (known as “post-employment notice pay”) and will be subject to tax and class 1 NICs.

All other relevant termination payments will continue to benefit from the £30,000 tax exemption.

Contractual payments in lieu of notice will be continue to be treated as earnings and will be subject to tax and class 1NICs.

Foreign Service Relief will no longer be available on termination payments where the employee is a UK tax resident in the year their employment ends.

25 May 2018

Data protection

Significant changes will take effect through a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Individuals will have increased right to access the data held on them and data breaches that impact on privacy must be notified to the ICO.

Proposed changes - dates not yet confirmed 

Trade unions - imposition of financial penalties

The Certification Officer will be able to impose financial penalties of up to £20,000 on trade unions if they fail to comply with certain statutory requirements. These include: failing to ensure senior positions are not held by someone with a criminal record; breaching requirements for elections to senior positions and mismanaging political funds. 

Repayment of public sector exit payments - originally expected to come into force in April 2016

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 2 months of receiving an exit payment will repay more than an employee returning 9 months after receiving the payment.

Exit Payments - originally expected to come into force after 1 October 2016

The government said that it would introduce a £95,000 cap on exit payments made to public sector workers.

Sunday working opt outs

The government may legislate to extend Sunday trading hours. Under the proposals, Sunday workers will have the right to opt out of working these additional/extended hours and the duty on employers to notify employees of their rights about working on Sundays will also to be extended.


When section 1 and Schedule 1 of Technical and Further Education Act 2017 (TAFEA 2017) are brought into force they will extend the Institute for Apprenticeships’ remit to cover classroom-based technical education in addition to apprenticeships. They also includes measures which support the Institute’s establishment and remit regarding apprenticeships.

Shared parental leave

The government said that it intends to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents and simplify the existing procedural rules. No further details are available.

Caste discrimination

The government is obliged to make caste discrimination unlawful under section 97 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. A consultation examining the best way to achieve this ended on 18 July 2017 and no further announcements have been made.

Unpaid work experience

This is a private member's bill seeking protection for individuals undertaking work experience. Workers undertaking work experience in excess of four weeks must be paid the appropriate national minimum wage.

Published: 22 January 2018

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January 2018

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