5 employment law changes in 2017 all employers need to know


As 2017 kicks into full swing it is vital that all employers are aware of a number of employment law changes that will come into force this year.

Employment law is a constantly changing area and staying up to date with the latest changes can be incredibly time consuming for employers.

Key changes in employment law in 2017

In this article, the specialist employment law solicitors at LawforEmployers look at what you will need to prepare for in 2017.

We could see employment status changes

Last year saw the landmark cases on employment status and the ‘gig economy’ where Uber drivers and Sprint City Couriers were deemed to be ‘workers’. This meant that they were entitled to both holiday pay and minimum wage.

Although the judgements are likely to be appealed, any business engaging individuals on a flexible, short-term ‘self-employed’ basis would be wise to now review these arrangements.

Changes to the national minimum wage

National minimum wage increases will now be aligned with changes in the national living wage. The next changes will take effect on 1 April 2017. The national living wage for aged 25 over will rise to £7.50.

Employers who fail to comply with the national living wage could be disqualified from being a company director for 15 years.

Introduction of gender pay gap reporting

If you are a private sector, voluntary sector or public sector organisation with 250 employees or more you will be required to publish gender pay gap information. This will include information relating to both employee pay and bonus pay.

Although gender pay gap regulations are still in draft form for private and voluntary sector employers, the deadline for the first report is expected to be 4 April 2018 and based on pay data from 2016/17.

Pension auto-enrolment in full swing

For many small business, 2017 will likely see the date by which they will need to have a pension scheme set up for their employees.

Any business who hasn’t begun preparing for this should seek expert advice on implementing a complaint auto-enrolment scheme and subsequently amending their employees’ contracts of employment.

Restrictions placed on salary sacrifice schemes

From 6 April 2017, tax savings through many salary sacrifice schemes will be abolished. This means employers will need to reconsider their benefit offerings.

Some schemes will remain unaffected including pension savings, childcare, cycle to work and ultra-low emission cars.

If the scheme was in place before April 2017 it will be protected until April 2018.

Stay up to date and compliant with our expert employment law solicitors

At LawforEmployers, our dedicated solicitors are on hand to keep all our clients up to date and complaint with any changes in employment law.

Our SafeGuard employment law packages offer a review of your employment policies and regular updates on any changes you may need to make. You can find out more about our SafeGuard employment law packages here.

If you’d like to talk to an experienced employment solicitor, call us on 01282 695 400.

Or you can book your free consultation by simply completing our quick online contact form.