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As we enter 2016 there are several changes to employment law that employers need to be aware of.  The two major reforms are the implementation of a national living wage and the need for large companies to publish details of gender pay gaps the first time.

Here are some details of these and other important changes:

1.    National living wage – effective from 1st April 2016, employers will be required to pay staff aged 25 and over the new living wage.  Initially this is set at £7.20 per hour.  Any staff under 25 should be paid at least the lower national minimum wage.

2.    Gender pay reporting – large organisations will need to publish details of any pay differences between men and women.  This applies to companies employing 250 or more staff and is due to come into effect from 26th March.  However, details of exactly what needs to be published and where have not yet been announced.

3.    Statutory parental pay rates and sick pay frozen – these rates normally increase year on year but the government has decided there will be no increase in either in 2016.

4.    Restrictions on public sector exit payments – there are two important changes here.  Firstly exit payments in the public sector are to be capped at £95,000.  Secondly, if an employee who has received an exit payment and who earns £100,000 or more a year returns to work within the same sector within twelve months, they will be required to repay the sum.

5.    Trade Union Bill reforms – there are a number of new measures that have been introduced placing more stringent requirements on a union before they can undertake industrial action.

6.    Employee right to redress regarding exclusivity clause bans – new legislation has banned the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts.  An employee can now complain to an employment tribunal if they have been dismissed or disciplined as a result of a breach of such an exclusivity clause.

7.    New rules protecting apprenticeships – organisations are banned from using the term “apprenticeship” to describe a scheme that is not a statutory apprenticeship.

8.    Laws on employing foreign workers – the Immigration Bill has introduced a number of changes to the law applying to foreign workers, including the requirement that all public-facing staff should be fluent English speakers and the creation of the offence of illegal working.  

To keep up to date with all employment legislation contact Auxil on 03300 884352.

Contact Auxil on 03300 884352 for a confidential discussion about any health and safety or human resources issues you may have or explore the website.