Key Employment Law Developments 2018:
- Gender Pay Gap Reporting: The first reports will have to be published in April 2018 for companies > 250 staff (some have already published their reports).
- PILON: Payments in lieu of notice any payments in lieu of notice (e.g. upon termination) will now (from April 1208) always be subject to Tax and NI payments even if the contract does not contain any reference to PILON.
- GDPR: New data protection regulations come into force on 25th May 2018.
- DBS Checks: From 17th Jan 2018 – Standard DBS checks will no longer be dealt with by Disclosure Scotland and applicants should now request these direct from DBS England and Wales in the normal way (https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record). The new link for basic DBS disclosures for England and Wales) requires a £25 fee.
- Workplace Pensions: The Government plans to reduce the age for auto-enrolment from 22 down to 18 , and reduce the notion of “band earnings” so that pensions contributions occur form the first £1 earned (the implementation date is unclear, indication is that it is some way off, appears to be mid 2020s [2024/5])
- Grandparents and Shared Parental Leave: The expansion of Shared Parental Leave and Pay provisions was discussed last year and it appears likely it will be introduced at some point in 2018 – no date is set as yet.
Data Protection Regulations
In May 2018 organisations will need to have implemented stricter controls about how they use and store data. When it comes to employees organisations will be permitted to store this data as there is a contract in place between the two parties – however the guidance is that it will be best practice to request people’s explicit consent so that there is no ambiguity and employees are kept fully informed about what organisations are doing.
Good records need to be kept for this purpose. Here is a sample Consent Form which can be used for this exercise.
It will need to be tailored further to reflect your specific Company needs and organisational roles. If you then issue this to your staff with the aim of having all the signed forms returned by 1 May 2018.
When it comes to Job Applicants, organisations collect and hold less data – as a consequence any Consent Form for Job Applicants will be an abridged version of that used for employees. Here is a sample Form which again requires some tailoring and customisation to reflect Company needs and to reflect organisational roles.
Note “Employees” in this sense covers employees, casual workers, people on zero-hours contracts, freelancers etc and the Form describes them as “employees/workers” to cover all bases.
In addition, Organisations will need to insert / revise sections of both their Employment Contracts and Staff Handbook / Policies documentation. Again here are some sample inserts that can be tailored and customised accordingly:
Staff Handbook / Policy Documents
Employment Contract / Statement of Particulars of Employment