Employment Law Forecast 2016: What Will Next Year Bring?
Even though it is not quite the New Year yet, your organisation should begin familiarising itself with some of the forthcoming 2016 employment law changes. While this is not a comprehensive list of all the reforms that are to be introduced in 2016, it should provide an overview of those which will have the most prevalent or significant impact on businesses:
- The National Living Wage (April 2016): A new minimum ‘living wage’ of £7.20 per hour will be introduced for all workers who are at least 25 years of age.
- Employer NICs abolished for apprentices under the age of 25 (6th April 2016): Employers will no longer have to pay Class 1 national insurance contributions (NICs) on earnings up to the upper earnings limit for apprentices younger than 25 years old.
- State Pension Regulations 2015 (6th April 2016): A single-tier, flat-rate will affect people who reach State Pension age (67) from 6th April 2016 onwards who have contributed at least 35 qualifying years of national insurance contributions.
- Compulsory gender pay reporting (2016): Employers—including private companies and voluntary sector organisations that employ at least 250 individuals—will be required to publish information showing whether or not there are differences in gender pay.
- Childcare Payments Act 2014 (2016): The new benefit scheme would allow working parents to claim 20 per cent of their childcare costs (up to a maximum of £2,000 per child) annually.
- Childcare Bill (April 2016): This bill would allow parents (one of whom must be employed) up to 30 hours of free childcare a week for their 3- to 4-year-old children.
- Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (April 2016): All organisations will be required to maintain and keep open for public inspection a register listing of persons having significant control (PSC). Individuals that are identified as PSCs will be required to provide relevant information to the company.
- Salary requirement for Tier 2 workers (6th April 2016): UK migrant workers who apply to settle here under the Tier 2 general and sportsperson categories will be required to earn at least £35,000.
- Immigration Bill (April 2016): This bill intends to introduce new penalties for illegal workers and employers that knowingly hire illegal workers. Additionally, measures will be put into place to bar illegal migrants from accessing housing, driving licences and bank accounts.