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Be prepared – Employment Law Changes in 2017

As we leave 2016 it is essential that employers, big and small, are up-to-date with their responsibilities surrounding employment law. 2017 already has a number of changes scheduled; so here are our top changes that you need to be aware of in the New Year.


Gender pay gap reporting begins


Private-sector, voluntary sector and public-sector organisations with 250 employees or more will be required to publish gender pay gap information for the first time.


Employers will be obliged to release information relating to employee pay and bonus pay, as well as information on the number of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay distribution.
Gender pay gap regulations for private and voluntary sector employers are still in draft form but the deadline for the first report is expected to be 4 April 2018, based on pay and bonus data from 2016/17.


A helpful toolkit surrounding the Gender Pay Gap, how to start looking at your data, interpreting it and addressing the findings ready for report submission can be found by clicking here via the Business in the Community Website


Apprenticeship levy on large employer’s introduced and funding available for smaller employers


Employers with an annual payroll of more than £3 million will be required to pay a 0.5% levy on their total pay bill starting on the 6th April 2017.


Large employers will be able to access levied amounts, plus a government top-up of 10%, to fund apprenticeships from accredited training providers.


Smaller organisations that are not required to pay the levy will also be able to receive funding for accredited apprenticeships by contributing 10% towards the cost of an apprenticeship, with the Government paying the remaining cost.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Data Audits to get underway


Although the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not come into force until May 2018, despite Brexit, the changes being implemented under the new Regulation means that preparing for the GDPR should be a top priority for employers in 2017.


Throughout the year, employers will need to look to carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process to ensure that it meets GDPR conditions for employee consent.


New governance and record-keeping requirements mean that employers will also have to create or amend policies and processes on privacy notices, data breach responses and subject access requests – even appoint a Data Protection Officer in some cases.


As the GDPR will come into effect before the UK exits the EU, organisations, large and small, from all sectors, that are not compliant by May 2018 risk fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is higher – can you afford to take that risk?


For more information on GDPR, see our summary article on our Employer Blog by clicking here.


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