As we switch on our screens and open up our new diaries for the New Year here are some important employment law related dates you should bear in mind:

4 April 2018 – Gender Pay Gap Reporting

If you are required to report (i.e. you had 250 or more employees as at 5 April 2017) then you should have your data analysis well underway! Don’t forget that the first gender pay gap reports must be published by 4 April 2018.

6 April 2018 – Childcare voucher scheme closes to new entrants

This long running benefit scheme will close to new entrants. The voucher scheme will continue for existing users for as long as employers continue to offer this benefit.

25 May 2018 – General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in force in all EU Member States

The introduction of GDPR represents the biggest shake-up of data protection and privacy law in decades and should most definitely be high on your agenda long before the implementation date, if it isn’t already. Key concepts include harmonisation of data protection compliance obligations, expanded territorial scope and enforcement powers, a higher standard of consent for processing data, a risk based approach to compliance and privacy impact assessments.

During 2018 – Planned extension of senior managers and certification regime

In March 2016 the senior managers and certification regime (SM&CR) replaced the “approved persons” regime for individuals working in banks, building societies, credit unions and PRA-designated investment firms, and branches of foreign banks operating in the UK. Following a consultation which closed in November, we are expecting a policy statement from the Financial Conduct Authority during 2018 on the extension of the SM&CR regime to all firms authorised under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

2018 Increases to Statutory Rates and Limits

April will see the usual annual changes to Maternity Allowance, Statutory Maternity Pay, Shared Parental Pay, Paternity Pay and Adoption Pay all of which are set to increase to £145.18 per week from 9 April 2018. Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £92.05 per week.

National Minimum Wage Rates from 1 April 2018 (per hour):

National Living Wage (25+) – £7.83

Standard adult rate (21+) – £7.38

Development rate (18-20) – £5.90

Young workers rate (16-17) £4.20

Apprentice rate – £3.70

Accommodation Offset Limit – £7.00

And beyond…..look out for reviews of the ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme and the Flexible Working Regulations which are almost certain to keep us busy into 2019!

In terms of caselaw it seems set to be a big year for sexual orientation discrimination cases and there will be more to come on holiday pay and employment status. We will of course keep you updated as and when these decisions are published so please do keep an eye on the blog!