We hope all of our readers had a great Christmas and New Year and are back feeling refreshed and ready for another year of employment law updates!
The Government has announced several key pieces of legislation which are due to come into force throughout 2016 which may mean some significant changes for employers. We aim to keep you fully updated at the time of these changes being implemented but for now, we have provided a summary of what to expect and when to expect it.
A Summary of Forthcoming Legislation
Trade Union Bill
In July 2015, a new Trade Union Bill 2015-2016 was published setting out proposed amendments to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The new proposals include increasing ballot thresholds to 50% and extending the notice of industrial action required to be given to employers to 14 days. The Bill is currently progressing through the House of Lords and the second reading is scheduled for 11 January 2016.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
On 14 July 2015, a consultation was launched on regulations to be introduced during 2016 which will require companies with 250 or more employees to carry out an equal pay audit and publish their gender pay gap. The audit will also include information on bonuses paid to men and women. The consultation is now closed with the new legislation expected in the first half of 2016.
National Living Wage
In the summer of 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer unveiled a new National Living Wage (NLW). The NLW which will come into force on 1 April 2016 and will be a premium over and above the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for workers 25 and over who from that date will be entitled to £7.20 per hour.
It is important to remember that from 1 April 2016, the new NLW will be mandatory for employers and there are penalties for those who fail to do so.
We are sure you will remember us reporting on the case of Lock v British Gas last year and feverishly updating you all on the latest developments in the ongoing “Holiday Pay” saga. In December, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) heard the Lock v British Gas appeal and we are now anxiously awaiting a decision regarding commission and holiday pay which should be within the first half of the year.
If you have any queries relating to any of the above or if you have any other employment related queries please do not hesitate to contact Joanne Holborn, Tom Scaife or Caroline Rayner on 01228 552600 or 01524 548494.