Whilst business owners are still struggling to understand the impact of Brexit, followed by the shock of Trump, 2017 is also bringing significant changes in employment law which are certainly making HR an exciting area to work in.
Regardless of your industry or organisation size, this year will demand you have up to date information and a strong lead from HR to ensure that your workforce policies are compliant, forward-thinking and future proof.
Details are complex, with some changes being phased and others being in full force from 6th April 2017.
Just 3 to highlight are:
- Apprenticeship levy – organisations with an annual payroll of more than £3million will be required to invest in Apprenticeships. Apprentices can bring a great benefit to your organisation, however, costs need to be understood and a supporting structure put in place to ensure maximum benefit is achieved. February is the month to register. For those organisations below this threshold, changes will still take place although not until 2018, so it is best to start preparing now.
- Certain salary-sacrifice schemes’ tax savings are being abolished: pensions, childcare, cycle to work and ultra-low emission cars will not be affected and other schemes are being protected until 2018 or 2021. Mobile telephones, gym membership, school fees, accommodation and white goods will no longer be eligible. If you provide any of those schemes, you need to think about how to communicate the changes to your team and what impact it will have on your workforce.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require changes in policies, record keeping and consent information, to be compliant by May 2018. A significant project for many during 2017. In short, it tightens the rules on what personal information is stored and clarity on why it is collated. And don’t get excited about Brexit meaning this won’t happen – unfortunately, the dates are such that it will be applicable in the UK even if just for a short while, although it is likely that the requirement will remain despite leaving the EU.
The list goes on including gender pay gap reporting, foreign worker employment laws, minimum wage changes and trade union balloting changes. All complex requirements which must be considered as part of any business plan for 2017.
Book a free, one hour, face to face consultation if you would like to discuss how these changes may impact on your business, or to talk about how we can help you ensure compliance and minimise financial risk. Or feel free to give us a call on 01471 360160. We look forward to speaking with you soon.