Employment law - legislative updates

The Government’s Response to the Taylor Review – expected Dec 17/Jan 18

In July 2017, Matthew Taylor published his review on modern working practices titled 'Good Work'. He was originally commissioned to undertake the review by the government to look at whether modern working practices, in part driven by the gig and on-demand economy, were exploiting vulnerable workers.

Among the review, there were recommendations to:

  • redefine the existing legal definitions of employee and worker so that they have greater relevance to modern ways of working;
  • synchronise the tests for employment rights status and taxable status;
  • give zero hours workers the right to request flexible working;
  • introduce a new rate of NMW for gig economy workers; and
  • make rolled up holiday pay lawful again and bring the enforcement of holiday pay under HMRC’s remit.

The government committed itself to responding to the Taylor Review by December 2017/January 2018. In the Budget, the government announced, as part of its response to the Taylor Review, it would open a consultation on making the status tests for employment rights and tax clearer. Find out more about the 21st century workforce.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting – 30 March / 4 April 2018

Employers with at least 250 employees must have published their gender pay gap reports on their own website and a government website by 4 April 2018 (30 March 2018 if the employer is a public body). Amongst other things the report should include the differences between average hourly pay and bonuses for men and women. To find out more about your gender pay reporting requirements read our gender pay gap blog.

Childcare Voucher scheme to close to new entrants – 5 April 2018

In April 2017, the new tax free childcare scheme was introduced. Eligible working parents are entitled to claim up to £2,000 towards the cost of childcare for each child under the age of 12 or disabled children under the age of 17. The existing childcare voucher scheme will be phased out so that parents of babies born after 5 April 2018 will no longer be eligible for them. However, those who have already opted in will continue to receive childcare vouchers so long as their employers continue to offer them. The new tax-free scheme is not paid by way of salary sacrifice like most childcare voucher schemes. Instead, for every £8 paid into an account set up with HMRC, the government pays in a further £2.

National Minimum Wage Increases – April 2018

In the Budget, the government confirmed the National Living Wage will rise in April 2018 from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour. The other National Minimum Wage rises are:

  • from £7.05 to £7.38 for 21 to 24 year olds;
  • from £5.60 to £5.90 for 18 to 20 year olds;
  • from £4.05 to £4.20 for 16 and 17 year olds; and
  • from £3.50 to £3.70 for apprentices.

Read more about National Minimum Wage compliance.

General Data Protection Regulations – 25 May 2018

All employers, irrespective of size, must ensure they are ready for the General Data Protection Regulations which will come into force on 25 May 2018. The GDPR includes a number of changes to the UK’s existing data protection law. Most importantly, the sanction for data protection breaches will increase from £500,000 to the higher of 4 per cent of global annual revenue or €20m. Find out more about your GDPR here.

For more information please contact Carolyn Brown, or your usual RSM contact.