The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The GDPR is the biggest change to data protection law in 20 years. It comes into force on 25 May 2018, and will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. We have published a guide to the key issues every employer needs to address, from systems to contracts & policies to resources & personnel.
The Immigration Bill: An immigration bill, establishing a new national policy on immigration, is eagerly awaited. While publication has been delayed, pending a transaction deal with the EU, the bill is expected to include new powers concerning the immigration status of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. Currently, EEA nationals are free to live and work in the UK – they enjoy free movement as a result of the UK's membership of the EU. The bill would allow the Government to repeal EU law on immigration, which would otherwise be converted into UK law by the "Great Repeal" bill – but the position of EEA nationals post-Brexit remains unclear. Howard Kennedy can help your staff with their Brexit related concerns through the delivery of bespoke training clinics. Click here for more.
Employment Status: Employment status will remain a hot topic in 2018. The Government launched a consultation on employment status last month, while claims brought by individuals in the so-called gig economy, including Uber drivers, plumbers and delivery staff, have regularly made the headlines – with many successfully arguing that they were in fact workers (and, in certain cases, employees) and consequently enjoyed greater rights, including the right to paid holiday and to receive the national minimum wage. Pimlico Plumbers' appeal was heard by the Supreme Court in February and Judgement is awaited, while Uber's appeal is due to go before the Court of Appeal in November.
Childcare Vouchers: Last April, HMRC launched its "tax-free childcare" scheme, enabling parents to apply online for tax-free childcare and receive a government top-up of £2 for every £8 they pay into their tax-free childcare account, up to £2,000 per child per year. Unlike with childcare vouchers, the scheme does not require the involvement of employers. Individuals apply themselves and manage their accounts online. All childcare voucher salary-sacrifice schemes will close to new applicants from 6 April 2018. However, the schemes will continue for existing users for as long as employers decide to offer them.