The coming twelve months will hold a number of legislative changes that will impact businesses throughout the UK. Here we outline exactly what these changes are, and the considerations that businesses should take prior to them coming into force.
Gender pay gap reporting
Introduced in 2017, any organisation with 250 or more employees are now required to report on the difference between the average earnings of men, compared with women within their business. This should be reported in two ways, by publishing their data alongside a written statement on their website, and reporting the data on the government’s online gender pay gap reporting service. After its introduction on 31st March 2017 for public sector organisations, and 4th April 2017 for private sector organisations, businesses had a year to report data from that precise date. The deadline for these reports is therefore 30th March 2018 (public sector) and 5th April (private sector).
National living wage increase
From April the national living wage and minimum wage will rise. This rise will affect a tremendous number of employers within the UK, and will inevitably impact cashflow. Therefore, it is essential that they consider how to prepare their business for these changes. The changes will cover the following:
25+ £7.83 (rising from £7.50)
21 – 24 – £7.38 (rising from £7.05)
18 – 20 – £5.90 (rising from £5.60)
16 – 17 – £4.20 (rising from £4.05)
The minimum pension contribution will rise from 6th April 2018 for both employers and staff. Many businesses may have this in hand with their pension provider, however those that do not must ensure that they comply with auto-enrolment obligations at the required date, or be faced with some hefty fines. Employers and staff currently contributing 1% each will, from April, be required to contribute 2% from employers and 3% from staff.
General data protection regulations
On 25th May 2018 new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force, which will require every business to have stringent data protection procedures in place within their business. This will affect any business that holds customer data, they must be able to evidence how and when they gained consent to use said data, as well as the procedures in place within their business to adequately protect the data. Businesses unable to do so, or those that suffer a data breach and are found to have been lacking will face significantly higher fines that those currently in place under the Data Protection Act. Businesses that have not yet considered GDPR must begin a thorough audit of their current processes and implement any necessary changes prior to the regulations coming into force.