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Legal Timetable

Here are a list of consultations and legislation that is to be introduced.

Consultation on enforcing data protection legislationcloses 28 June 2018

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) consults on a draft policy to help organisations understand how it will enforce breaches of data protection legislation. The draft policy explains how the ICO will use its powers, including by issuing enforcement and penalty notices, and how it will set the amount of any financial penalties. Organisations that fail to comply with data protection rules may be subject to a fine of up to £17 million or 4% of global turnover, whichever is higher, in cases of the most serious data breaches.

Consultation on draft guidance in relation to the tax exemption for workplace electric charging facilitiescloses 5 July 2018

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs consults on draft guidance in relation to the tax exemption for employer-provided electric charging facilities for electric and hybrid vehicles. The draft guidance provides that the exemption from tax applies where there are dedicated electric vehicle charging points at the employer’s premises and they are provided to employees generally.

Call for evidence on improving business productivitycloses 6 July 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a call for evidence seeking views on how best to improve output in businesses with low productivity, with the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Raising productivity is one of the Government’s key priorities and core to its industrial strategy. The call for evidence seeks to gather information on the decisions taken at individual business level that may impact on productivity and growth.

Consultation on changes to intermediaries legislation (IR35) for the private sectorcloses 10 August 2018

HMRC & HM Treasury consult on reform to the intermediaries legislation, commonly known as IR35, with the aim of tackling the avoidance of payment of employment taxes by individuals in the private sector who work through intermediaries, primarily their own personal service company. It seeks views on the existing challenges faced in complying with the off-payroll working rules and sets out the options to improve compliance, including extending the reforms to the rules introduced in the public sector from 6 April 2017 to the private sector.

Consultation on corporate governance principles for large private companiescloses 7 September 2018

The Financial Reporting Council consults on new corporate governance principles: The Wates corporate governance principles for large private companies. The proposed principles are intended to align with the introduction of new reporting requirements, due to come into force from 1 January 2019, that require large companies to disclose in a statement as part of their director’s report, and publish on their website, information on the corporate governance code or arrangements they applied in the relevant financial year. There are six draft principles of corporate good practice, such as undertaking effective engagement, including with the workforce, and promoting executive remuneration structures aligned to sustainable long-term success of the company, taking into account pay and conditions elsewhere in the company.

Consultation on taxation of self-funded work-related training closed 8 June 2018

HM Treasury consults on changes to the rules on tax relief for employers that reimburse employees who have paid for work training themselves. The Government is exploring amendments to the rules to: focus on supporting good quality training for those who want to retrain for a change of career; simplify the process for getting tax relief; and minimise the risk of misuse of the tax relief on recreational activities or for other personal purposes.

Consultation on parental bereavement leave and payclosed 8 June 2018

The Government consults on proposals to inform its Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill, which provides two weeks’ paid leave for bereaved parents. It seeks views on, among other things, who should be entitled to statutory bereavement leave, how and when the leave should be taken and what kind of notice and evidence of entitlement should be required.

Consultation on employment status in the modern labour marketclosed 1June 2018

HMRC, HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy consult on the options proposed in the Taylor review of modern working practices for providing employers with more clarity when determining employment status, bearing in mind the realities of the modern labour market. Options discussed include the codification of the current case law and updating of employment status tests to reflect modern working relationships.

Consultation on national minimum wage rates for April 2019closed 1 June 2018

The Low Pay Commission consults on the effects of recent increases in the national minimum wage, to inform its recommendations for the April 2019 rates. The consultation also explores a number of wider issues, including the potential impact of a “premium” minimum wage for hours that are not “guaranteed” (as recommended by the Taylor review of modern working practices) and the structure of the minimum wage age bands.

Consultation on increasing transparency in the labour marketclosed 23 May 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy consults on the recommendations in the Taylor review of modern working practices for achieving greater transparency and clarity between workers and employers in the labour market. Recommendations discussed include extending the right to a written statement of terms and conditions to workers as well as employees and increasing the holiday pay reference period from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

Consultation on enforcement of employment rightsclosed 16 May 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy?consults on the recommendations in the Taylor review of modern working practices on the enforcement of employment rights. The consultation discusses: plans to simplify the enforcement process for employment tribunal awards; a “naming and shaming” scheme for employers that do not pay tribunal awards within a reasonable time; and aggravated breach penalties and cost orders for employers that have already lost an employment status case on broadly comparable facts.

Consultation on increasing protection for agency workersclosed 9 May 2018

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy?consults on the recommendations in the Taylor review of modern working practices regarding agency workers. The consultation discusses increasing the transparency of contractual arrangements for agency workers and how the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate could be extended to monitor umbrella companies or other third-party intermediaries.

Consultation on revised UK corporate governance code closed 28 February 2018

The Financial Reporting Council consults on a revised UK corporate governance code.?The proposed revised code?is shorter and focuses on long-term success and sustainability, increased public trust in listed companies and the attractiveness of UK capital markets to global investment during the Brexit negotiations and thereafter.?It sets out good practice so that boards can: align a company’s purpose, strategy and values with its business culture; undertake effective engagement with wider stakeholders, to improve trust and achieve mutual benefit, and to have regard to wider society; gather the views of the workforce; ensure appointments to boards and succession plans are based on merit and objective criteria; take steps when they encounter shareholder opposition to any resolution, including in relation to executive pay policies and awards; and strengthen the role of remuneration committees.

Consultation on draft ICO guidance in relation to processing data on childrenclosed 28 February 2018

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) consults on draft guidance intended to help data controllers understand their responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 EU) (GDPR) when processing personal data relating to children. The draft guidance sits alongside the ICO’s Overview of the GDPR and provides more detailed, practical guidance on collecting and processing personal data on children. The GDPR comes into effect on 25 May 2018.

Consultation on enforcing gender pay gap reportingclosed 2 February 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) consults on a draft policy to enforce gender pay gap reporting requirements for public-, private- and voluntary-sector employers. The policy explains how the EHRC will use its powers, including by investigating suspected breaches and issuing compliance notices. Employers that refuse to comply may be subject to a summary conviction and an unlimited fine.

Consultation on promoting professionalism and reforming regulation in the healthcare sectorclosed 23 January 2018

The Department of Health and Social Care consults on reforms to the regulation of healthcare professionals. The aim is to produce a flexible model of professional regulation that promotes public trust, fosters professionalism and improves clinical practice, while also being adaptable to future developments in healthcare.?Areas on which the consultation seeks views include: the advantages and disadvantages of having fewer regulatory bodies; whether or not the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care should take on an advisory role in relation to which groups of healthcare professionals should be regulated; and whether or not to give regulatory bodies the power to handle fitness to practise rules in a more proportionate way.

 

New check-off arrangements take effectexpected 2018

The draft Trade Union (Deduction of Union Subscriptions from Wages in the Public Sector) Regulations 2017 implement new arrangements for check-off for public-sector employers. Where a contract of employment or collective agreement contains arrangements for check-off, the arrangement can continue only where the trade union meets the administrative cost in respect of making the deductions and workers have the option to pay their trade union subscriptions by other means.?The finalised Regulations, which were due to come into effect on 10 March 2018, are yet to be published.

Right to time off work for certain volunteers who carry out duties in the criminal justice system takes effect1 October 2018

The Time Off for Public Duties Order 2018 (SI 2018/665) amends the Employment Rights Act 1996 to extend the right to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to perform their public duties to certain groups of volunteers who monitor conditions in custody. It extends the right to include: lay observers, who monitor conditions in court custody and under escort; independent prison monitors, who monitor conditions in Scottish prisons; members of immigration visiting committees; and members of the short-term holding facilities visiting committees.

Regulations on executive pay ratio reporting introduced1 January 2019

The draft Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 introduce new reporting requirements on certain quoted and companies, with regards to CEO and director remuneration. The reporting requirements under the draft Regulations will apply in respect of financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2019. Therefore, the first reporting will start in 2020.

Change to tax treatment of termination payments above ?30,000 introduced – 6 April 2019

Employers will be liable to pay Class 1A national insurance contributions on termination payments above ?30,000 that are subject to income tax by the employee. The new measure will be introduced in the National Insurance Contributions Bill.

Requirement for payslips to state hours worked where pay varies – 6 April 2019

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/147) provides that, where an employee’s pay varies by reference to time worked, employers must include the number of hours for which the employee is being paid on his or her itemised pay statement. The change is designed to make it easier for hourly paid staff to ensure that they are paid correctly and to address underpayments.?The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2018 (SI 2018/529) extends the right to an itemised pay statement to workers, which will result in a corresponding right to receive information on the number of hours being paid for in their payslips where pay varies by reference to time worked.

Parental bereavement leave rights take effectexpected 2020

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill provides at least two weeks’ leave for employees following the loss of a child under the age of 18. Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to paid leave at the statutory rate and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave.

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill introducedto be confirmed

In preparation for the UK leaving the EU, the Government has introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (known as the Repeal Bill). It:

  • repeals the European Communities Act 1972, which is the key piece of legislation that gives direct effect to EU law in the UK;
  • transposes EU law applying to the UK at the moment of exit into domestic law, with the exception of the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  • creates powers to make secondary legislation, including temporary powers to enable corrections to be made to laws that would otherwise no longer operate appropriately once the UK has left the EU, and to implement the withdrawal agreement; and
  • preserves the current scope of devolved decision-making powers in areas currently governed by EU law.
New legislation to allow organisations to monitor use of IT systems for legitimate business reasonsto be confirmed

The Investigatory Powers (Interception by Businesses etc for Monitoring and Record-keeping Purposes) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/356) provide that organisations and public bodies may lawfully intercept communications being sent via their telecommunications systems for certain legitimate business activities. These activities include establishing whether or not staff using the organisation’s telecommunications system are achieving the standards required by the company in the course of their duties. The Regulations are designed to replace (and largely mirror) the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/2699).

Whistleblowers protected when applying for jobs in children’s social care sectorto be confirmed

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 includes a provision that enables regulations to be made to provide protection for applicants when applying for a role that relates to the children’s social care functions of a local authority. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that applicants are not discriminated against because they have previously made a protected disclosure.

A local authority (or other relevant employer) discriminates against an applicant if the applicant is refused a job or he or she is treated less favourably in some other way in relation to the application because of having made a protected disclosure.

Income tax personal allowance linked to national minimum wageto be confirmed

Any increase in the income tax personal allowance will take into account national minimum wage increases to ensure that workers on the national minimum wage working up to 30 hours per week do not pay income tax.

Public-sector exit payments become repayableto be confirmed

Section 154 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 provides for regulations to be made to require the repayment of exit payments made to public sector workers.?The draft Repayment of Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2016 provide that employees in the public sector with annual earnings of ?80,000 or more must repay exit payments where they return to work in the public sector within one year of leaving.

Public-sector exit payments cappedto be confirmed

The draft Public Sector Exit Payment Regulations 2016 provide that exit payments to public-sector workers are capped at ?95,000. Many payments made in connection with loss of office are covered.

Caste discrimination prohibitedto be confirmed

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 prescribes that the Government must add “caste” to the definition of “race” under the Equality Act 2010. The Government has yet to introduce legislation to prohibit caste discrimination under s.9(5) of the Equality Act 2010.

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