Legal changes in 2016

Below, we set out the developments in employment law that we have already seen and those which we are yet to see in 2016:

11 January – Zero hours employees/workers can bring ET claims if employers try to prevent them gaining more work elsewhere
31 March – Employers whose financial year ends on 31st March 2016 or later and with annual turnover of £36million will need to publish a modern slavery statement for the previous financial year
1 April – Introduction of National Living Wage – £7.20 per hour, payable to employees 25 and over
3 April – Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay rates remain the same – £139.58 per week or 90% of weekly earnings if less than £139.58
6 April – Statutory sick rate remains the same for 2016/2017 – £88.45
6 April – Employers no longer have to make National Insurance Contributions for apprentices under the age of 25
6 April – Tier 2 Skilled Migrants – £35,000 salary requirements come into force
April Public-sector exit payments become repayable for employees earning £80,000+ if the employee is engaged in similar work in the public sector within 1 year.
April – Penalties for non-payment of tribunal awards and settlement amounts to be introduced
October – National Minimum Wage increases (expected)
October – Legislation requiring employers with 250+ employees to publish gender pay gap information comes into force
October – New opt out rights for workers in large shops on Sundays

It is also expected that the following will be introduced, however, we are still awaiting confirmation of this:

  • Introduction of a Labour Market enforcement agency and extra enforcement for employers who exploit migrant workers via the Immigration Bill
  • Reforms on ballot requirements for unions to take strike action in the Trade Union Bill, effectively making it harder for employees to strike
  • Caste discrimination to be added under race discrimination under Equality Act 2010
  • Public sector exit payments to be capped at £95,000.

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