Hot topics for 2017

Gender pay gap reporting is due to come into force in April. Although the first gender pay gap reports for employers with 250 or more employees will not be due until 4 April 2018. Employers will need to capture their first set of gender pay gap data in April 2017.

The gig economy will continue to be a hot topic, with Uber appealing against the finding of an Employment Tribunal that their drivers are workers for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Court of Appeal examining the issue of employment status in Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith in January.

From April, the apprenticeship levy will require all UK employers which have annual wage bills of more than £3 million to pay 0.5% of their annual wage bill towards the cost of apprenticeship training.

The issue of Tribunal fees continues to rumble on with the government’s post-implementation review of tribunal fees awaiting publication and UNISON’s appeal scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court in March.

The Trade Union Act 2016 will introduce, among other measures, significant changes to the balloting rules for industrial action. Implementation dates are still awaited, although the 40% ballot threshold for important public services appears to be anticipated for March 2017.

A preview of 2017 would not be complete without mentioning Brexit, with all its resulting uncertainty. We can expect the Supreme Court’s judgment on whether an Act of Parliament is needed to trigger Article 50 and begin the Brexit process. The government had previously indicated that it would trigger Article 50 before the end of March 2017.

This alert does not provide a full statement of the law and readers are advised to take legal advice before taking any action based on the information set out above. If you would like specific advice in relation to any employment law or HR related issues please contact Joanne Holborn, Tom Scaife or Caroline Rayner on 01228 552600 or 01524 548494.

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