Employment Law in 2018

October 3rd 2019

Some key things to watch out for in 2018…

Early 2018

European Union (Withdrawal Bill) 2017-19

A Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and make other provisions in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. 16 and 17 January 2018 Bill was considered by MPs. The Bill is expected to be passed early 2018.

Early 2018

Authority from the EAT on whether male employees are entitled to enhanced maternity pay in-line with their female colleague counterparts.

Readers may recall from our October HR Watch (see here: https://www.se-solicitors.co.uk/legal-blog/philomena-price-blog/2017/10/19/enhanced-maternity-leave-and-pay-for-men) that an Employment Tribunal (in Ali v Capita) held that an employee was discriminated against when his employer refused to pay him enhanced maternity pay in-line with his female counterparts.

This case was in contrast to Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police where the Employment Tribunal considered that the starting point for a tribunal was that maternity leave and pay are special and afforded to women in connection with pregnancy or birth.

Both the above cases have been appealed with Ali being heard on 20 and 21 December 2017 and Hextall being heard on 16 January 2018. Watch out for both Judgments in 2018.

4 April 2018

Deadline for employers to submit their Gender Pay Gap Reports

The mandatory gender pay gap reporting for large and voluntary sector employers came into force on 6 April 2017.

Employers with 250 or more employees on 5 April (“the snapshot date”) each year must analyse their gender pay gap and publish it by 4 April of the following year.

For large and voluntary sector employers, the first relevant snapshot date was 5 April 2017. This means that they must publish their first gender pay gap report by 4 April 2018. Some employers have already done this and notably Ladbrokes, EasyJet and Virgin Money are among the major companies to reveal gender pay gaps of more that 15% in favour of men mean hourly pay according to BBC news on 6 January 2018.

6 April 2018

Reform of taxation on termination payments

In July 2015, the Government launched a consultation into the treatment of income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) on termination payments.

As a result of the consultation, from 6 April 2018, all payments for notice (even indirect payments) will be subject to tax and NICs.

The Government’s proposal to tax termination payments with employers’ NICs on payments of £30,000 or more has been postponed until April 2019.

6 April 2018

Childcare voucher schemes will close to new applicants

On 6 April 2018 the childcare voucher scheme will close to new applicants.

Employees will still be able to continue to get them for as long as their employer runs the scheme and the employee remains in employment.

Date to be confirmed

Grandparents’ rights to time off to care for grandchildren

In 2015 the then Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the Government wanted to extend shared parental leave and pay to grandparents by 2018.

With Brexit looming over the Government, it appears that whilst this proposal is still very much on the table, it has been put on the back burner for the time being.

The government is yet to make any further announcement as to whether this policy will be taken forward.

25 May 2018

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force

The GPDR will come into force and the Data Protection Act will be repealed by the Data Protection Bill.

It is intended that the Data Protection Bill supplemented by the GDPR will modernise data protection law in the UK given the demands of an increasingly digital economy and society.

Date to be confirmed

Race pay gap reporting

Following on from a review into the experiences of black and minority ethnic individuals in the labour market in early 2017, the Government committed to bringing in legislation requiring mandatory race pay gap reporting.  No timetable has been set yet for race pay gap reporting.

Date to be confirmed

Developments regarding the ‘gig economy’

The ‘gig economy’ is the latest hot topic in the employment world.

Following a review led by Matthew Taylor and published on 11 July 2017 (see our article here: https://www.se-solicitors.co.uk/legal-blog/philomena-price-blog/2017/08/22/the-gig-economy-and-the-taylor-review), there were a number of recommendations designed to improve the working conditions of a-typical workers / individuals working in the gig economy.

On 7 February 2018, the Government published its response to the Taylor Review which sets out their response to the review and plan of action for taking forward the recommendations. It remains to be seen whether this will result in any changes in the law.

For more details see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices

Two of the most well known cases at the moment concerning this are Uber and Pimlico Plumbers. Both cases are being appealed this year (Pimlico Plumbers is being heard in the Supreme Court on 20th and 21st February 2018).

If you need any further advice, please do get in contact. Call Philomena Price, ​Director and Employment Law Solicitor at Spratt Endicott Solicitors on 01295 204147, or email pprice@se-solicitors.co.uk.

*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation.