Key employment law changes expected in 2017

Every year seems to bring with it changes in the world of employment law and 2017 is set to be no different.

April is due to be a particularly busy month. The main changes to be introduced (or expected to be introduced) in 2017 will be:

  • The launch of a government-funded tax-free childcare scheme (early 2017).

  • All first instance Employment Tribunal judgments will be made available online (early 2017). Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments are already available online.

  • New rates for the National Minimum Wage (April 2017).

  • The immigration skills charge of £1,000 per worker or £364 for small employers and charities (April 2017).

  • The abolition of tax savings available to many salary sacrifice schemes (April 2017).

  • Amendments to the IR35 legislation for public-sector engagers (6 April 2017).

  • The requirement for companies with more than 250 employees to publish gender pay gap information (expected 6 April 2017).

  • The apprenticeship levy of 0.5% on the total wage bill of large employers (6 April 2017).

  • Reform to public sector exit payments (the government’s proposals should be implemented by June 2017).  

This year should also see the courts handing down some key decisions concerning:

  • Brexit (Miller and Santos v SOS for Exiting the EU) (heard by the Supreme Court on 5 to 8 December 2016 with the judgment delivered on 24 January).

  • The lawfulness of employment tribunal fees (R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor and another) (the Supreme Court is expected to hear the appeal in March 2017).

  • The “gig economy” and employment status (Aslam, Farrar & Others v Uber) (the judgment for this case was handed down last year on 28 October. Uber have confirmed that they intend to appeal though no date has been set).

  • Statutory holiday pay (Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd) (no date is set for a Supreme Court hearing, but if it is heard it would be expected to be decided towards the end of 2017 at the earliest per British Gas’ lawyers).

Invariably these will not be the only changes and judgments to take place in 2017. We will keep you updated if further developments are announced but for the time being if you have any concerns or questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our employment team.