Bond Williams and Frettens Solicitors: Annual employment law update 2017
This morning saw over 100 Senior HR professionals and business leaders gather at our yearly legal update, held at AFC Bournemouth with Paul Burton from Frettens Solicitors who gave an overview of the legalities of both new and current employment law legislation.
Paul Burton is an Employment Solicitor and Associate at Frettens Solicitors. He specialises in both contentious and non-contentious matters, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, TUPE, contracts and policies. Representing both companies and employees he is recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, independent legal directories and also a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event this morning and thank you to Paul Burton for bringing us all up to date with the changes coming into effect in the following months that could cause a considerable impact for businesses in a number of HR areas. Here’s an overview of some of the 2017 dates that employers should be aware of:
1st April – Paying living and minimum wage
2016 saw the introduction of the national living wage and from 2017, increases to both living and minimum wage will take place in April which previously took place in October each year. The government will continue to focus on making sure employers are correctly paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in 2017 and the national living wage (for those aged 25 and over) will increase on 1 April 2017 to £7.50 per hour.
1st April – Salary sacrifice benefits removed
The tax advantage will be removed for all salary sacrifice schemes from April 2017 except for the provision of pensions, vouchers and cycle to work schemes and ultra-low emission vehicles. Schemes in place before April 2017 will be protected from these changes until April 2018 with some protected until 2021.
6th April – Gender pay gap reporting
The law requiring employers to publish a gender pay gap report will come in from 6th April 2017 which will mean that employers with 250 or more employees will have to publish the hourly pay gap and annual bonus gap between men and women. Businesses will have up to a year to publish the information on their own website. The reporting will include information about the average pay and bonus pay across the organisation, as well as information on the number of men and women within each quartile of the company’s pay distribution.
6th April – Apprenticeship levy
April 2017 will also see the start of the apprenticeship levy, a government initiative to create three million apprenticeships by 2020. Employers with an annual paybill of £3m or more will have to pay 0.5% of pay amount into a digital apprenticeship account.
10th April – Statutory rates and limits
April usually sees an increase to the statutory payments for time off work including maternity, paternity, adoption, parental and shared parental leave. After two years at the same level, the rates will be increasing on 10 April 2017, to £140.98 or 90% of normal weekly earnings. Statutory sick pay (SSP) is also increasing on 10 April 2017 to £89.35.
Don’t forget to join our HR group on LinkedIn for the latest employment news affecting your business in 2017.