Employment Law Updates From April

It is that time of year again, when updates and changes come into effect from April 2018 relating to employment law and working practices. We have the latest changes and what these mean for you and your organisation.

Don’t Panic! but GDPR is nearly here

You will not have failed to notice the forthcoming changes to Data Protection law with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) on 25th May 2018.
We are aware that many organisations have made preparations and are planning for implementation. However, we are acutely aware that some businesses may not have got to grips with the changes and may be looking for some additional help and support.
Apex HR has put together a comprehensive slide deck with all the essential requirements. We have also prepared an updated GDPR compliant template Data Protection Policy for businesses to use.
Whilst there are some important technical changes to be aware of, the focus needs to be on what a culture of data protection awareness and responsibility looks like within an organisation. We are able to focus on the technical changes to ensure organisations are compliant, but more broadly we are able to support on how to ensure good data protection principles are embedded in practice within day to day work.

Mind the Gap!

As widely reported in the media, the deadline for reporting of the Gender Pay Gap was April 04 for organisations employing more the 250 people.
The Government hope that by requiring organisations to report their gender pay gap this will add more transparency and encourage organisations to review their policies regarding pay and reward, to ensure more equitable and fair treatment.
Using snapshot data solely around the gender pay gap in isolation does not necessarily provide the full analysis we require to really understand the complexities of this situation. There needs to be a wider discussion about pay and reward systems that are fit for purpose in the modern world.
In summary, organisations should evaluate the demands of each role carefully and then determine pay and benefits based on their evaluation. Reward systems are by their nature sensitive and emotive topics. Due care and consideration should be given to what behaviours and values your reward and benefits systems are trying to encourage within your business. A person’s gender should have nothing to do with fair pay and reward. We need an honest critique of our pay structures to ensure they are based on merit and contribution, irrespective of gender or any other personal factors.
Whilst Gender Pay Gap reporting is likely to shine the spotlight on some unfair and unequal pay practices, in isolation it is likely to be ineffective in bringing about real equality in the long term. For this, we need a shift in mind set from those leading our organisations, to ensure fairness and equality is woven into all organisational systems and processes, including the way we recruit, promote and develop future leaders.

Employment Law Changes from April 2018.
National Minimum Wage and Living Wage increases from 01 April 2018

Reference Period Apprentice Under 18 18-20 21-24 25 and over
Hourly rates April 2017-March 2018 £3.50 £4.05 £5.60 £7.05 £7.50
Hourly Rates applying from
01 April 2018
£3.70 £4.20 £5.90 £7.38 £7.83
Difference +20p per hour +15p per hour + 30p per hour +33p per hour +33p per hour

New Statutory Rates increase from 01 April 2018

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
Shared Parental Leave (ShPP)
Statutory Adoptive Pay (SAP)
£145.18 per week
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) £92.05 per week

Other Employment Law changes of note
From 06 April 2018 changes in the way in which termination payments are taxed come into force.
New rules apply to any termination of employment that takes place on or after 06 April 2018. From this date all notice pay is to be treated as earnings and subject to tax and national insurance contributions – irrespective of whether the contract of employment provides for a PILON (pay in lieu of notice clause).
Taxation implications for termination payments [which often arise as part of a settlement agreements] can be a complex area and specialist advice is always advisable.

A week’s pay

When calculating statutory redundancy payments, the maximum amount for a week’s pay increases from £489 per week to £508 per week. An organisation that is making redundancies on or after 06 April 2018 should note these changes to ensure they remain compliant with the statutory requirements.

Maximum Compensatory Award
In a Tribunal context, should a compensatory award be made in a finding of unfair dismissal, the maximum amount increases from £80,541 to £83,682. The new compensatory award maximum applies where the effective date of termination is on or after 06 April 2018.
Should you wish to discuss any issue raised in this update, please contact a member of the Apex HR team and we will be pleased to assist.
The content and opinions within this update are provided for information purposes and are not intended to constitute legal advice, and therefore should not be treated as a substitute for specific legal advice relevant to particular circumstances.

We are offering further support and guidance on GDPR compliance and other HR related topic’s.  Please contact us on 01752 717610 or info@apexhr.co.uk

Related posts

At Apex HR, we believe in challenging the status quo when it comes to people at work. Outdated HR thinking and methods just won’t cut it in a rapidly changing and dynamic world. It is time for a new approach.