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During 2018 there will be a number of important law developments – including the response to the Taylor report. 

Employers will be continuing with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance and gender pay gap reporting, along with preparations for Brexit. 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which updates data protection law across the EU, will come into effect on 25 May 2018 for all EU member states - including the UK.  Data audits and policy reviews will be carried out by employers to make certain that their data protection meets the terms of the regulations.

Organisations in the private or voluntary sector with 250 or more employees will be required to publish their first gender pay gap report by 4 April 2018 and certain public-sector employers with 250 or more employees have until 30 March 2018 to publish. Employers are required to post their reports on their own website and also on a Government website.

Reports of incorrect gender pay gap submissions have shown up the difficulties that organisations have in completing the calculations correctly.  At present, more than 350 employers have published gender pay gap reports on the Government website.

Minimum wages rise each April, and this year will increase to £7.83 for employees aged 25 and over; £7.38 for those aged 21 to 24; 18 to 20-year-olds are due to be paid £5.90; under 18’s will receive £4.20 and apprentices £3.70 with the accommodation offset increasing to £7 per day.

Workers must be at least school leaving age (last Friday in June of the school year they turn 16) to get the National Minimum Wage. They must be 25 or over to get the National Living Wage.

Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding. The worker is still entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.

Workers are also entitled to the correct minimum wage if they are:

  • part-time
  • casual labourers - for example, someone hired for one day
  • agency workers
  • workers and home workers paid by the number of items they make
  • apprentices
  • trainees, workers on probation
  • disabled workers
  • agricultural workers
  • foreign workers
  • seafarers
  • offshore workers

The weekly amount for statutory family pay rates will also increase to £145.18 on 1 April 2018 and this rate will apply to maternity pay, adoption pay,  paternity pay, shared parental pay and maternity allowance.

With regard to the Brexit preparations, the terms of the initial agreement with the EU protect the rights of EU citizens currently residing in the UK – providing employers with more confidence.  However, the agreement does not include the ability of new EU workers to work in the UK after Brexit and employers in sectors that rely on considerable inflows of European workers are still waiting for confirmation of immigration arrangements following withdrawal from the EU.