Key employment law changes for 2018

With the end of 2017 fast approaching, here is a brief summary of some of the key employment law changes to look out for next year.

4th April 2018: Gender pay gap reporting for private companies

Regulations require employers in the private sector with at least 250 employees to publish, by 4th April 2018, gender pay information. The information to be published includes the difference between the mean and median hourly rates of pay and bonus for male and female employees.

6th April 2018: Changes to the tax treatment of termination payments

The key changes are:

  • Currently, if an employer makes a “payment in lieu of notice” or “PILON” to a departing employee, and there is no right in the employee’s contract for the employer to make such a payment then, broadly, the payment can be made tax free, up to £30,000. From 6th April 2018, this will change, and all PILONs (whether there is a PILON clause in the employee’s contract or not) will be taxable and subject to national insurance;
  • At the moment, the first £30,000 of a non-contractual termination payment is tax free, and no employee or employer national insurance contributions are due. From 6th April 2018, non-contractual termination payments up to £30,000 will still be tax free, however payments above £30,000 will attract employer’s national insurance (but will still be exempt from employee’s national insurance).

25th May 2018: The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) comes into force

GDPR will make changes to the current data protection rules. It will apply to any organisation which controls or processes personal data. The changes are significant, but the key ones, in summary, are as follows:

  • The definition of “personal data” will be wider;
  • Individuals will have a right to request that their data is erased, if there is no need for the organisation processing it to continue to do so. This is known as the “right to be forgotten”;
  • There will be tighter rules for obtaining consent from individuals before processing their data;
  • The maximum fines which can be imposed on organisations for breaching data protection will increase significantly.

Date to be confirmed: Shared parental leave to be extended to grandparents

Shared parental leave is to be extended to allow grandparents to take time off work to care for their grandchildren. The new system will allow a mother to share her maternity leave with a nominated working grandparent.

Jonathan Royle, Employment Senior Associate

Jonathan Royle

Senior Associate