A new year has kicked off and with this comes a number of recent changes in employment law. Employers should be aware of these changes and put plans into action to deal with these, if required, and if they have not already done so. A number of the changes are HR related and may require action from this department.

Recent changes in employment law you need to be aware of

Introduction of National Living Wage

Many companies have already implemented the National Living Wage, but if you have not done so, you will need to have it in place by 1st April 2016. The National Living Wage applies to workers who are aged 25 or over and is aimed at protecting workers on low salaries within this age bracket. It does, however, exclude those in the first year of an apprenticeship. The national living wage will exceed the national minimum wage for this age group and is currently being set at a minimum rate of £7.20 per hour. The National Living Wage will become the law, just like the National Minimum Wage, so it is imperative that employers ensure this is in place.

Recent changes in employment law - silhouette in blue of a variety of businesspeople

Gender Pay Gap Reports

There has been a lot in the press recently about gender pay gaps and in an attempt to reduce these gaps, employers will need to publish details on their pay rates, both for males and females. This will be introduced in March and will affect businesses who employ 250 or more employees. This particular legislation is still a bit sketchy, with specific details on what is expected from employers still to be released.

Sick Pay and Maternity and Paternity Pay Rates Frozen

There will be no increase in statutory sick pay and the rates for maternity, paternity adoption and shared parental pay will also remain the same as they were in 2015. Employers do not need to make any changes here.

Employing Foreign Workers

There will be more stringent rules in place when it comes to employing foreign workers into the business. Some of these changes include a requirement for all employees working in face to face customer roles to be able to speak fluent English. There will also be an Immigration skills charge introduced for those employers who use foreign workers.

It is important to keep on top of recent changes in employment law and how it may affect your staff. If you require HR support on a bespoke/temporary basis, get in touch and we’ll arrange a free consultation to discuss how we can help you.

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