What's new for 2018?
As 2017 draws to a close, here are the top five things employers should be aware of for 2018:
1. Data protection. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018. Billed as the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years, after four years of preparation and debate the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016 and will be directly application in all member states from May 2018 – at which time those not complying will face heavy fines. Click here to read some key takeaways employers should be doing to make sure they comply.
2. The Gender Pay Gap. From 5 April, firms with at least 250 employees must reveal data about the differences in pay between men and women in their workforce. The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to reduce the pay gap, backed by the UK's Women's Business Council.
3. From 1 April, landlords must upgrade the energy efficiency of their properties to band E or better, meaning it will be unlawful to rent out a property which breaches this minimum rating, so properties that fall in the less efficient 'F' or 'G' category will no longer be acceptable.
4. The minimum wage will continue to increase, rising from £7.50 to £7.83. Workers between the ages of 21 and 24 will see their pay rise from £7.05 to £7.38, wages will rise from £5.60 to £5.90 for 18-20 year olds, from £4.05 to £4.20 for 16-17 year olds, and from £3.50 to £3.70 for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. The Living Wage will undoubtedly continue to gain prominence amongst companies wanting to be seen as responsible employers.
5. Employment Tribunal applications will most likely rise, since the Supreme Court ruled that it was unlawful for the Government to impose fees to those wishing to take their employer to Tribunal. With the knowledge that some sort of fees will be applied in due course, it is probable that employers will start to see a short-term rise in retrospective applications, and new applications, since the 79% dip in applications in the last three years.