Employment News – Summer Edition 2017
It is a challenging time for UK’s small employers – employment measures post General Election and Brexit still lack detail, but here is a round-up of recent employment news and likely developments!
POST BREXIT & POST ELECTION IMPLICATIONS
UK employment laws will continue to reflect EU legislation, although, within the next five years, there may be some modification to more controversial laws such as the Working Time Directive. Recruitment is likely to be a bigger challenge – the demand for staff is growing, but fewer people are available to fill roles and the number of non-UK EU nationals leaving UK employment is rising.
Kay’s comment: Although the government has announced it is working on ‘settled status’ terms to maintain rights of immigrants who have already been in the UK for at least 5 years, specific details have yet to be announced. An additional ‘Barista Visa’ is apparently being considered which would be a two-year post-Brexit visa, but only for hospitality workers. Average wage growth has slowed to 1.7%, but consumer prices have risen 2.9% – this mismatch will impact living standards. However, a tightening of the labour market is likely to put pressure on some sectors to increase wages. Creating a strong employer brand will become increasingly important to attract new people.
TRAINING & APPRENTICESHIPS (April 2017-2018)
As part of the provisions relating to the new Apprenticeships Levy, employers are responsible for making sure apprenticeships receive off-the-job training for a minimum of 20% of the time they are paid to work.
Kay’s comment: The government has just released new guidance about Apprenticeship off-the-job training for apprentices and gives scenarios and examples – although primarily written for larger organisations, the guidance is still relevant to smaller employers looking to take on apprentices. Also, from April next year, the Institute for Apprenticeships becomes the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, to help support the promotion of T-Levels, the technical equivalent of A-Levels.
GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS (25th May 2018)
Next year the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will be enforced across Europe, including post-Brexit UK. The law aims to give citizens more control over their data and to create a uniformity of rules across the continent. The definition of personal data will cover anything that points to someone’s professional or personal life, including names, photos, email IDs, bank details, social networking posts, medical information, or computer IP addresses.
Kay’s comment: The GDPR is complex but non-compliance fines would bankrupt most small businesses. Make sure you start planning for the new law now, particular regarding accountability and fair processing – this ICO summary is a good place to start.
Please Note: This employment news is provided for your general use only. It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.