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Are you up to date with the latest HR legislation?

Read our round up of the issues that HR professionals need to be aware of over the coming months.

Brexit – how will it affect employment law?

Brexit – how will it affect employment law?

According to a poll carried out by APSCo, 48% of people said they believed that leaving the EU would have a negative effect on their business. However, following the ‘leave’ vote, the true impact of Brexit cannot yet be measured and it would appear that nothing will change in the short term.

There is speculation that EU-derived law, such as Agency Workers Regulations, could change at some point in the future, but in reality it is likely that such legislation will be ‘tweaked’ as opposed to changed completely. The CIPD states that “one of the main provisions of the Working Time Directive – that a worker’s working week would be limited to 48 hours – is already subject to an opt out in the UK. This Directive alone illustrates the complexity of how the UK transposes different aspects of EU law and how the wider domestic context influences its interpretation.”

Much of the uncertainty depends upon future negotiations, but Rullion will be remaining abreast of any changes to employment law that may happen as a result of Brexit and will continue to communicate them in future Bulletins. 

Apprenticeship Levy

The current topic of interest in the world of HR is the introduction of the monthly Apprenticeship Levy which will take effect from April next year. The Government initiative will involve employers whose payroll exceeds £3m per year, paying 0.5% of their total payroll.

The money, which must be used for the funding of apprenticeships, will remain available to the employer for 18 months. After this time, unused money will be moved into a shared “pot”, which can be accessed by other employers. 

IR35

From April 2017, the changes in tax relief for travel and subsistence expenses will come into effect for public sector contractors. The governmental measures have been put into place in order to prevent tax evasion.

It will become the duty of all public sector organisations to ensure that contractors working for them are paying the correct amount of tax.

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate has been confirmed as £6.95 from October 2016, whilst the National Living Wage (NLW) will remain at £7.20. However, both NMW and NLW will be reviewed and may be subject to change in April 2017.

Closing the gender pay gap

The publishing of pay rates for both male and female workers will become compulsory from around October this year. The exact start date is yet to be confirmed, however, the advice given to businesses is to start collating your pay rate information as soon as possible.

Applicable to companies with 250 or more employees, the publishing of pay rates has been introduced by the government in a bid to provide transparency and to ensure equal pay for all.

Auto-enrolment for pensions

Companies with 30 or fewer employees now also need to be enrolled by 2017. Auto-enrolment has been the norm for larger companies for a number of years now, but it’s time for the smaller ones to get on board too.

The Director of Labour Market Enforcement

Passing through Parliament as part of the Immigration Bill, this legislation will create a Director of Labour Market Enforcement and an offence of aggravated breach of labour market legislation. The enforcement bodies will have the power to require a business, where there is reasonable belief that an offence has been committed, to take steps to prevent further offending.