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Three key employment law changes you need to be prepared for this year

A new year brings new challenges when you’re running a business, and there are always key developments in the world of employment law that you need to be aware of, so you can ensure that your organisation is fulfilling its legal requirements. Not surprisingly, 2018 is set to be no different.

Though Brexit has offered far more questions than answers, and there are still many grey areas when it comes to exactly what the future of work might look like in the UK, there are several legislative developments that have been signed on the dotted line.

The clock’s ticking when it comes to ensuring your compliance, and we’re keen to make sure that you’ve got the knowledge, understanding and support that you need to smoothly guide your business through the changes. Let’s take a look at three big things that you need to be prepared for this year…

GDPR comes into force

On 25thMay 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect for all EU member states – and that includes the UK. Its intention is to strengthen and unify data protection provisions. Businesses must carry out internal audits and reviews to ensure compliance, and also assess any contracts with providers that handle their data processing – including payroll and recruitment.

The reality of this change is that there’s an awful lot to consider, and it has the potential to place a great deal of strain on your resources. As such, businesses are being urged to pinpoint any significant risks first.

The first gender pay gap reporting deadline

If you run a private or voluntary sector organisation with 250 or more employees, you need to publish your first gender pay gap report by 4thApril 2018. For public sector employers of the same size, the deadline is 30thMarch 2018. The reports must be published on the company website, and also a dedicated government website.

Pay data from 2016 and 2017 will be covered, and necessary figures include the differences in mean pay, median pay, mean bonus pay, and median bonus pay, between male and female employees.

Minimum wage increases

On 1stApril 2018, the national living wage for workers aged 25 and over will increase to £7.83 per hour. Furthermore, national minimum wage rates will rise to £7.38 per hour for workers aged 21 to 24, £5.90 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20, and £4.20 for workers aged 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age.

For many businesses, this will mean a review of administrative procedures to ensure that there’s a smooth transition to the higher rate for any employees who are eligible. Of course, budgeting and operational considerations will also have a place here, so employers can focus on creating a great return on their staffing investment.

As we head towards March, time is running out when it comes to establishing your plan of action. If you know that there are areas in which you need to pull your socks up, it’s essential that you make your move sooner rather than later. And if you need help in doing that, get in touch today to arrange an initial no-obligation consultation. We can provide advice and guidance on GDPR, gender pay gap reporting, minimum wage provisions, and any other people management issues that are at play in your business right now.