With 2017 now in full swing you are most likely implementing your business plans for the New Year. As part of these plans it is worth considering the forthcoming employment law changes, to ensure your business is prepared. While this list is not exhaustive it does highlight some of the changes due to take place during 2017:
- National minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) increases. From April 2017, both the NMW and NLW will increase:
- Apprentices: £3.50 per hour
- Workers under 18: £4.05 per hour
- Workers aged 18 to 20: £5.60 per hour
- Workers aged 21 to 24: £7.05 per hour
- Workers aged 25 and over (NLW): £7.50 per hour
- Closure notices to be served to employers using foreign workers illegally. From December 1 2016, any company, which has previously committed immigration offences and is again suspected of hiring illegal foreign workers could be served with a closure notice. This will prevent access to the organisation’s premises for up to 48 hours, pending the outcome of an application for an ‘illegal working compliance order’. This additional order could be served to prohibit or restrict access for up to 12 months.
- Immigration Skills Charge. A visa levy will be implemented in April 2017, to reduce companies’ reliance on skilled immigrant workers from outside the European Economic Area. It will be set at £1,000 per employee per year for Tier 2 employers, and a reduced rate of £364 for small or charitable organisations. The charge is not set to apply to migrant workers coming from the EEA and Switzerland; however, this could potentially change upon the UK leaving the EU.
- Mandatory annual gender pay gap reporting. From April 2017, qualifying companies (250 or more employees) will need to annually publish details of their gender pay gap. The final regulations are expected to come into force by 30th April 2017, meaning that employers will be obliged to have published their first report by April 2018.
- Apprenticeship levy. From April 2017, all companies with a pay bill of more than £3 million each year will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy. The levy will be set at 0.5 per cent of their annual total pay bill, minus a £15,000 levy allowance from the government.
When considering new legislation forewarned is forearmed
By taking the time to understand the regulations you will be in a better position to assess any impact. Along with any changes you need to implement. Writing new policies and implementing new procedures can feel like a tiresome task. But when compared with the cost of failing to implement the legislation it is time well spent. For help and support why not get in touch with our employment law experts, Jelf Risk Management who can provide you with hands-on, bespoke assistance with policies and procedures to protect you, your employees, and your business. Jelf Risk Management also offer a free 30 minute employment law advice clinic for all Jelf clients* so contact them today.
Source: Zywave Commercial Insurance Profile Dec 2016