Dates for your diary Calendar of main legal and regulatory events affecting further and higher education institutions - 2016 12 Dates for your diary Further and higher education legal and regulatory calendar 2016 2 – Passing by Parliament of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill. The Bill gives new enforcement powers to the Charity Commission and confirms the ability of charities to make investment decisions based on social as well as financial grounds. – Passing of the Immigration Bill. The Bill will amongst other things: – create a new offence of illegal working which will enable the earnings of an illegal worker to be seized as proceeds of crime – provide that an employer who has reasonable cause to believe that an employee is working in breach of their immigration permissions could face a fine of up to £20,000 and a maximum of five years’ imprisonment – require public authorities to ensure that public sector workers in customer facing roles speak fluent English – Passing of the Trade Union Bill. This will introduce a 50% turnout requirement for ballots for industrial action, and a 40% support requirement in important public services. (The latter will include schools [and possibly colleges where they teach those under 16] but not colleges or universities.) Employers will be entitled to two weeks notice of industrial action. – Passing of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. This will cap social welfare benefits. It will also establish a statutory duty on the government to report annually on full employment, progress with meeting apprenticeship targets and help for troubled families. – Passing of the Housing and Planning Bill. The Bill will add extra tests of fitness to hold licences for houses in multiple occupation and make a number of changes to the planning system designed to increase the construction of new housing, including changes to the process for producing local plans and neighbourhood planning and enabling the Secretary of State to grant permission in principle for development (initially only in respect of brownfield sites). – The EU Commission is expected to complete its review of the General Data Protection Directive with a view to updating it to ensure more consistency in EU states’ data protection laws. The new directive will lead to replacement of the UK Data Protection Act in 2018 but the ICO is encouraging organisations to start preparing now for the greater obligations the new directive will impose on those processing personal data. – Review by CMA of compliance by HE institutions with its guidance on terms and conditions in student contracts. – Response by the government to its consultation on the postgraduate loan scheme due to be introduced for the 2016- 17 academic year. The Chancellor in his Autumn Statement said that the scheme will be extended to all students under 60. – Publication by the government of details of its scheme of loans for 19-23 year olds taking courses at levels 3 and 4 and for those aged 19 and over taking courses at levels 5 and 6. Changes expected in 2016: 3 Dates for your diary Further and higher education legal and regulatory calendar 2016 1 January 1 January New thresholds under the public procurement regulations come into force – £164,176 in respect of supply and services, £4,104,394 in respect of works. Relevant HE bodies must send HEFCE a preliminary selfassessment report of their current level of compliance with the Prevent duty. In the New Year Unison is due to ballot members in FE colleges on strike action “in response to the employers’ zero per cent pay offer”. The second wave of area reviews of post-16 provision outside schools will begin early in 2016. 20 January Last date for return to OFFA of self-monitoring report on compliance with access agreement 2014-15. February Implementation of new Sentencing Guidelines for health and safety, food safety and hygiene and corporate manslaughter offences. The Independent Commission on Freedom of Information expects to issue its report shortly after the oral evidence sessions in January. Details of the arrangements for sixth form colleges wishing to join Multi-Academy Trusts are expected to be issued by DfE. March The government’s Enterprise Bill is likely to have been passed by Parliament. The Bill will provide for targets to be set for apprenticeships in the public sector and protect the term “apprenticeship”. The Enterprise Bill will also provide for a cap (initially to be set at £95,000) on exit payments paid to employees leaving employment in the public sector. Colleges and universities will not be regarded as being in the public sector but may be expected to set their own cap at a similar level. EFA will inform applicant establishments including sixth form colleges of the outcome of Condition Improvement Fund applications in March/April. Area reviews of London colleges are expected to start in the spring. 16 March Chancellor of Exchequer’s Budget speech 31 March Triennial actuarial valuation of the LGPS is completed, with results being published as soon as possible after this date. Revised contributions will come into effect from 1 April 2017 for the next three year period. 4 Dates for your diary Further and higher education legal and regulatory calendar 2016 4 BIS is expected to issue in spring 2016 details of the digital voucher mechanism to be used to route apprenticeship funding via employers and arrangements for a levy from April 2017 on employers with payrolls exceeding £3m per year to help fund apprenticeships, following the announcement in the Chancellor’s autumn statement. The government is expected to announce in spring 2016 reforms to professional and technical education routes, following advice from a panel chaired by Lord Sainsbury. Professor Ellen Hazelkorn is expected to deliver her report to the Welsh Government on the regulation and oversight of postcompulsory education and training in Wales “in the spring”. HEFCW will consult on its draft Financial Management Code for regulated HE institutions in the spring. It will issue guidance on fee and access plans for 2017-18 and call for applications in March. April 1 April The minimum wage for workers aged 25+ will increase to £7.20, to reflect the compulsory living wage premium. The UK government is likely to introduce fines and a published list of ‘offenders’ for non-payment of ET awards. The increase in National Insurance contributions following abolition of the Second State Pension and contracting out comes into effect. Employers of apprentices under 25 will not be required to make such contributions in respect of such apprentices. The changes to USS benefits and employer and employee contributions will take effect.The third wave of area reviews of post-16 provision outside schools is due to begin. 5 April This is the usual first date in the year for changes to employment law. 18 April The new threshold under the procurement regulations for concessions contracts comes into force - £4,104,394. Late April Deadline for submitting proposed access agreements for 2017-18 to OFFA. May Relevant HE bodies must send HEFCE further documentation about their Prevent risk assessment and policies and procedures for topics covered by the statutory Prevent guidance. Different groups of HEIs will have different submission dates in the springsummer period. Introduction of joint Ofsted/Care Quality Commission inspections to assess how and how well local authorities, health services and child care and education providers identify and provide services to children and young people with special needs. From spring/summer 2016 subject to consultation in late 2015/ early 2016 and to Parliamentary approval English public sector bodies with at least 250 employees will be required by the Enterprise Act to ensure that apprentices make up at least 2.3% of their staff. Bidders for relevant government contracts over £10m and over 10 months duration will need to demonstrate commitment to apprenticeships and skills. Applications for approval of fee and access plans will have to be returned to HEFCW. 5 Dates for your diary Further and higher education legal and regulatory calendar 2016 6 June By this month news is expected from the EU Commission on progress of a Directive on women on boards, possible changes to the EU Working Time Directive and information and consultation Directives and a potential new family-friendly Directive. July The referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU is expected to take place in June or July. However, this is dependent on the progress of negotiations with other EU members and might be deferred until 2017. In the event of a ‘No’ vote two years notice of exit would have to be given. HEFCW will make decisions on fee and access plans. August SFA issues its financial memorandum for 2016/17 and a simplified and localised revised funding system for adult skills training. EFA issues its Conditions of Funding Agreement for 2016/17. All lead FE providers can now offer traineeships, not just those rated by Ofsted as Outstanding or Good. September The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance in Wales is expected to issue its final report by September 2016. The fourth and fifth waves of area reviews of post-16 provision outside schools are due to begin. A new process of quality assessment may be piloted in England and Wales but this is subject to the development of the Westminster government’s proposals for reform of the regulation of higher education as outlined in its Green paper. The Welsh Government is expected to approve HEFCW’s Financial Management Code for regulated HE institutions. 6 Dates for your diary Further and higher education legal and regulatory calendar 2016 10 October 1 October The Defined Contribution element of the USS will go live. This is the usual second date in the year for employment law changes. The UK taskforce on violence against women on campus is expected to report in autumn 2016. The taskforce is to develop a code of practice and explore the possibility of a kite mark scheme to identify institutions which have established effective arrangements for minimising the risks of such misconduct. November Chancellor of Exchequer’s Autumn Statement. December Where a building owner supplies heat or hot water to a number of final customers with premises in the building, building owners must ensure that meters are installed to measure the consumption of heat and hot water by 31 December 2016. This is the result of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014. 7 Dates for your diary Further and higher education legal and regulatory calendar 2016 12 Other developments expected in 2016 – Issue by the UK government of a technical consultation on the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework for higher education in England. – Issue by the UK government of a White Paper and/or Higher Education Bill to give effect to the changes proposed in the autumn 2015 Green Paper. – Making of regulations to extend licensing of houses in multiple occupation following the DCLG consultation in autumn 2015. – Creation of a performance pool to allow high performing alternative providers of, HE to bid for extra places. – Consultations by BIS on further restrictions on exit payments and measures to reduce sickness absence in the public sector. – Establishment in shadow form of an Institute of Apprenticeships to take over from government responsibility of much of the management of apprenticeships, the Institute becoming fully operational in 2017. – Issue by the Lord Chancellor of a draft British Bill of Human Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. – Introduction into Parliament of an Anti-Extremism Bill. This is expected to include proposals for banning orders to outlaw extremist organisations, extremist disruption orders to restrict the activities of individuals, and closure orders to shut down premises used by extremists. Diane Gilhooley Partner, Head of the Eversheds UK and International Education Practice Tel: +44 161 831 8151 email@example.com For more information please contact: eversheds.com ©Eversheds LLP 2015 © Eversheds International 2015. All rights are reserved to their respective owners. Eversheds International is an international legal practice, the members of which are separate and distinct legal entities. DT05538_12/15
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Dates for your diary - Calendar of main legal and regulatory events affecting further and higher education institutions - 2016
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