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Christmas Legal E-Bulletin - Preparing Your Business for 2018


Christmas Employment Law Bulletin

Welcome to the mfg Christmas Employment Law Bulletin.

Chances are you have prepared your business financially for Christmas and the New Year, but have you prepared yourself for any employment law changes in 2018?

In our last Employment Law Bulletin for 2017, we explain what you need to contemplate ahead of Christmas, look at what is in the pipeline for 2018 and consider the impact of recent employment law developments for your business.
 
The Christmas Party

Hosting a Christmas party is a great way to reward staff for their loyalty and performance over the preceding year, as well as providing staff with the opportunity to bond. However, whether the Christmas party is held during or outside working hours, they can be a minefield for employers.
In the run up to Christmas, we often get asked how a party can be hosted without fear of an employment law hangover. Perhaps not surprisingly the most common question we get asked after a party is how to handle misconduct that has allegedly taken place at a Christmas party.

Our online blog article sets out our advice on how to survive the festive period and ensure everyone still has a jolly good time.


Employment law changes in 2018

National Minimum/Living Wage

The National Minimum/Living Wage hourly rates will change in April 2018 to the following:
 
o Apprentices - £3.70 
 
o 16-17 year olds - £4.20 
 
o 18-20 year olds - £5.90
 
o 21-24 year olds – £7.38
 
o Those aged 25 and over - £7.83

Gender pay gap reports

Businesses with at least 250 employees will be required to publish their gender pay gap reports by 4th April 2018

Taxation of termination payments

Subject to the Finance Bill passing through Parliament, the distinction between contractual and non-contractual payments in lieu of notice will be removed, so that all payments in lieu of notice will be subject to income tax and national insurance contributions.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will apply from 25th May 2018. As a result, individuals will have greater data protection rights, and organisations will subject to stronger data protection regulations.

Other potential developments in 2018

• The government has announced that it will publish a paper in response to the Taylor Review about the gig economy. The paper will consider reforms in the future to make the test for employment status clearer for businesses and individuals.
 
• Furthermore, we expect the Supreme Court to hear appeals about the gig economy and atypical working during 2018, which could have an effect on whether individuals are classed as self-employed or workers.
 
• Brexit discussions will continue throughout 2018, which will hopefully address issues such as EEA workers.
 
• Employment Tribunal fees were abolished during 2017 and the fee reimbursement scheme has been implemented. Employment Tribunals are already reporting a significant increase in the number of cases making their way to the Employment Tribunal. The key question is whether this increase will continue in 2018.
 
• The Government is planning to extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents by 2018, although no further details about the plan has been published.
 
• The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill is currently working its way through Parliament, which would entitle parents who have lost a child to two weeks’ leave. It is expected to be introduced in 2020.

Employment Law Blog

The Employment Team blogs on a range of employment matters on a regular basis online. Here are a couple of our recent blogs:

Employees should be able to report sexual harassment without fear
Employers must invest into mental health, study suggests
Employment Law: Absence and Attendance at Work (Part 1)
Employment Law: Absence and Attendance at Work (Part 2)
Employment Law: Absence and Attendance at Work (Part 3)

Contact us

The Employment and HR Services team at mfg are specialists with a significant amount of experience assisting clients with their employment and HR issues. 

We offer a premium service to our clients, ensuring that our advice to businesses is commercial, practical and relevant to their individual requirements. If you have any employment or HR issues, we would be more than happy to have a chat with you to understand your needs and circumstances.
 
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Sally Morris at sally.morris@mfgsolicitors.com or on 01905 610410.

Christmas and New Year opening hours

Please note our offices will close at 5 pm on Friday 22nd December 2017 and will reopen on Tuesday 2nd January 2018.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



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