Employment law update 2017-2018

Here we summarise the latest employment law changes and legal updates.

Acas are the employment relations experts and a trusted source of advice for employers, employees, Government and others.

The Government has introduced several new changes in employment law in 2017-2018. Brief details of these changes are listed below.

Employment legislation changes in 2017-2018

Effective date

Trade Union Act

The Act reforms the rules on trade union ballots for taking industrial action. The main provisions of the Act are :

  • 50% turnout threshold for there to be a valid ballot on industrial action.
  • Threshold of 40% support from all members in order to take industrial action in key sectors.
  • Four month time limit for which the ballot will remain valid to authorise industrial action.
March 2017

Gender pay gap reporting

To address the gender pay gap, the Government is introducing a completely new requirement for all large organisations to publish their gender pay gap. Employers will need to publish key wage information, and these details will need to include the difference in hourly earnings as well as the gap in bonus pay.

April 2017

Apprenticeship Levy

Employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million per year will be liable to pay a new apprenticeship levy. The levy will apply to all industry sectors, in both the public- and private-sector, for the purpose of raising money to meet the cost of apprenticeship schemes across the UK.

April 2017

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Increases in hourly rates of pay for both the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage. Details in the table below.

Future changes for both will take place in April of each year.


April 2017

The Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017

From April 2017 employers who sponsor skilled workers under tier 2 of the points based system will have to pay £1,000 per certificate.

Employers should confirm that they have checked that all their current employees have the right to work in the UK, and that they can prove that those checks have taken place. A paper trail will be essential.

April 2017

Fit for Work service

In England and Wales, the service stopped accepting new referrals in December 2017, but will continue to deal with ongoing referrals until 31 March 2018. In Scotland, the service is due to end on 31 March 2018 though they may stop accepting new referrals before this date, though this is still to be confirmed

In all locations, Fit for Work will continue to provide telephone advice, webchat, email service and online resources

December 2017

March 2018

Childcare Voucher Scheme

Childcare voucher salary-sacrifice schemes will close to new entrants from 6 April 2018, but can continue for existing users. The new tax-free childcare scheme does not involve employers-individual apply themselves

April 2018

General Data Protection Regulations

Employers will be required to carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process to ensure it meets the General Data Protection Regulations. The ICO have published a booklet “Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulations – 12 steps to take

May 2018

Statutory payments – April 2017

From April 2017

From April 2018

Maternity/Paternity/Adoption  £140.98 £145.18
Sick pay £89.35 £92.05
Lower Earnings Threshold £113 £116
National Living Wage £7.50 £7.83
National Minimum Wage
Workers aged 21-24 £7.05 £7.38
Workers aged 18-20 £5.60 £5.90
Workers ages 16-17 £4.05 £4.20
Apprentice rate £3.50 £3.70