UK Employment Law Snapshot – Autumn 2016
I thought it would be useful to share a few (hopefully useful) UK Employment Law updates that are sensible for us all to have front-of-mind. The majority of the changes below will come into effect from October 2016, so these are updates that we all will need to factor into our planning ASAP.
Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting
The Government has published the Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap) Reporting Regulations 2016.
They will require companies with more than 250 employees to provide statistics on the gap between male and female pay.
The Regulations are likely to require employers to:
- Publish mean and median pay information for their entire workforce
- Identify the numbers of men and women who appear in each quarterly pay period
- Publish pay information on their website, which must be retained for three years
From everything I have seen it seems as though the reporting requirements will become clearer shortly, with timelines for deadlines/submissions applied. However, we can safely assume that the reporting will be phased in, largest employers first out of the blocks.
My advice would be for ALL organisations, large and small, to start collating the required data and review accordingly. The realms of reality tell us that this will be a sensible pragmatic step to take, especially as the Governments need to take a rightful strong stance with this subject. They also openly tell us that they will be “Naming & Shaming” employers who do not comply. This, combined with penalties and potential civil or legal action, means this is something we all should have firmly fixed on our agendas.
The first reports must be published by 30 April 2018 to show the gap as at 30 April 2017, with subsequent reports to follow each April for the previous year.
Tribunal Decisions to Go Online
Interesting update regarding UK Employment Tribunals.
The Tribunal service is to make publicly available all Tribunal decisions online from October 2016.
The database will allow the public to search for first-instance judgments from England, Wales and Scotland. Currently, anyone wanting to search or browse employment tribunal decisions must attend in person at offices in Bury St Edmunds for English and Welsh decisions, and in Glasgow for Scottish decisions, or access these via postal application (includes a fee).
Employment Tribunal decisions are obviously not binding on subsequent cases, but they do provide employers and employees with helpful examples of how tribunals may approach particular cases.
It is not clear whether past judgments will be placed online.
National Minimum Wage Rates
I can’t believe it is that time of the year already; new UK minimum wages rates to come into effect from 1 October 2016 are as follows:
- £6.70 to £6.95 for workers aged 21 and older
- £5.30 to £5.55 for workers aged 18 to 20
- £3.87 to £4.00 for workers aged 16 to 17
- 3.30 to £3.40 for apprentices
The Accommodation off-set will be £6.00.
Please note that the level of the National Living Wage will remain at £7.20 per hour from October 2016.
Obviously sensible to check these rates against your database, pass on to Finance for any budgets or forecasting and for Payroll to have visibility.