Welcome to Employment Edit, our pick of the key employment law developments from the last couple of weeks: 

  • Autumn Statement – although the expected changes to reduce the use of personal service companies were not announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, the Chancellor has announced that the findings of the Office of Tax Simplification’s report on employment status will be taken forward and that new criminal offences will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2016 for tax evasion and for companies who facilitate it.  Please see our alert on Tackling the avoidance of employment taxes for more information.
  • Apprenticeship levy - The apprenticeship levy on larger employers will be introduced in April 2017 at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s paybill.  This will be paid through PAYE. Each employer will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. This means that the levy will only be paid on any paybill in excess of £3 million and that less than 2% of UK employers will pay it.  The government’s response to the consultation on the Apprenticeship levy: employer owned apprenticeships training is now available.
  • Termination payments – There has not yet been an announcement about the proposed simplification of the tax and National Insurance treatment of termination payments.  This is not expected until early 2016.  However, a further cross-public sector consultation is proposed on exit payment terms aimed at reducing the cost of redundancy payments and ensuring greater consistency.
  • Work-life balance - the European Commission has launched a public consultation on possible actions to address the challenges of work-life balance faced by working parents and caregivers.
  • Discrimination – the Government Equalities Office has published guidance for employers on Recruitment and Retention of Transgender Staff.