Last month’s newsletter had reflected on some of the bigger changes and cases in employment law. January is often a time of looking forward, what do I want to do this year, what should I change/give up, when am I going to give up my resolution, etc. etc.  Therefore it made sense to do a piece about what employment law changes we can expect this year.

11th January – The first stop of our forecast into the year actually requires hindsight going back two weeks. Employees on zero hours contracts are now entitled to bring employment tribunal claims against employers who impose exclusivity clauses. Although exclusivity clauses have been illegal since May 2015, only now do employees have the power oppose them.

26th March (could be sooner) – For any business with 250 or more employees it will be compulsory to report any gender pay gaps, including bonuses, and publish them. However further details about how and where the report will be published. Be sure to look out for these announcements in the not too distant future.  

March – A further judgment in Lock v British Gas is expected. The judgement will answer whether Holiday Pay should include commission.

6th April – Put it in your diaries, the National Living Wage is coming. We’ve waxed lyrical about it in previous posts and without wanting to further gild the lily a new minimum wage for employees aged 25 and over will be £7.20. Make sure any eligible employees are paid this amount as non-compliance will result in similar repercussions to minimum wage.   

April – Nothing has been announced yet but it is widely speculated that the tax free allowance could be abolished for tribunal awards and settlement agreements.   (Google will not be subjected to this change)

October – This will most likely be when the Immigration Bill is implemented. The main points will include

– Being informed when employees’ visas expire

– Having to advertise positions in the UK before recruiting from abroad

– Penalties for employing illegal workers

– Being able to recover money paid to illegal workers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002