Large private and voluntary sector employers and public sector bodies in England need to prepare for the new gender pay gap reporting duty. The duty requires employers to publish the difference between the median and mean average hourly rate of pay paid to male and female employees; the difference between the median and mean average bonus paid to male and female employees; the proportions of male and of female employees who receive bonuses; and the relative proportions of male and female employees in each quartile pay band of the workforce.

Employers’ first gender pay reports will have to be published no later than 4 April 2018, based on hourly pay rates as at 5 April 2017 and bonuses paid between 6 April 2016 and 5 April 2017. For further information, read our briefing.

Changes to industrial action law

Changes to the rules governing strike ballots are due to be implemented on 1 March 2017, including the introduction of a new ballot 50% threshold for voter turnout, with an additional 40% ballot support threshold applying in important public services including health, education, fire, transport and border security services.

The government’s aim is to ensure that, “strike action only ever takes place on the basis of clear and representative mandates.” Further changes including a tightening of the supervision of picketing, providing for longer advance notice of strikes, the re-balloting of ongoing disputes and changes the ballot paper are also expected to come into force on 1 March.

Looking ahead at 2017

For an overview of other HR priorities in 2017, including Brexit issues and the new apprenticeship levy, read our 2017 Agenda.