London Eye

2017 round-up: Key employment changes

Published: 19th December 2017

Author: Fudia Smartt

Who can believe that 2017 is almost over and what a year it has been! A quick round up:

2017 highlights

Gender Pay Reporting Regulations

The Gender Pay Reporting Regulations came into effect in April 2017, which require large private sector and voluntary employers to publish annual reports showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees. Given the furore following the BBC pay gap revelations earlier this year, we suspect that the reports published by employers next year will provide fertile ground for equal pay and sex discrimination claims next year.

Apprenticeship levy

Since 6 April 2017, employers with a pay bill of over £3million have been required to pay a levy amounting to 0.5% of the pay bill for a tax year less an annual allowance of £15,000. The aim of this levy was to boost apprenticeships yet recent reports suggest it is having an adverse effect. We will have to wait and see if this is a sign of things to come.

IR35

In April 2017, the new IR35 rules came into effect which move responsibility for deciding if the off-payroll rules for engagements in the public sector apply from an individual worker’s intermediary to the public authority. There has been much debate on whether the new rules are adversely impacting public sector employers (with contractors choosing to retire as opposed to working under new IR35 rules). Nevertheless, given the increased revenue for the Exchequer and an expensive Brexit divorce bill to fund, we suspect that the IR35 rules will be rolled out for the private sector.

Tribunal fees

The Supreme Court judgment that employment tribunal fees were unlawful and hindering access to justice for all led to their abolishment in July 2017. The effects of this are evident, with employment tribunal cases having doubled since their removal.

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