Brexit is becoming the “elephant in the room” for many companies waiting for government updates and its implications on how the new deal will work out. Many HR and payroll professionals are no doubt anticipating how such a huge shift in the political scene will change existing legislation.
However, while it’s easy to get distracted by how Brexit will change the current HR and payroll landscape in the future, there are more current, pressing concerns at hand.
Remember these key Legislative Compliance Payroll Updates:
Data Protection Changes
It is now confirmed that the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will affect all UK companies. Businesses will need to start future-proofing their procedures and policies before the data protection changes come into effect in May 2018.
Non-compliance by businesses could lead to fines of up to £20 million or 4% of a company’s annual global turnover in the prior year. Bringing your company’s policies in line with the approaching changes will ensure a smoother transition and avoid any penalties for non-compliance.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
If a business, either private or voluntary, has more than 250 employees it needs to be aware of legislative changes regarding gender pay gap reporting. The new law came into effect on 5th April, 2017 with employers required to publish their first report on 5th April, 2018 relating to their data from 2016/17. The results must be published on the employer’s website and a government website. Failing to do so will result in enforcement proceedings.
You can find more information on what the EU is doing regarding Gender Pay Gap Reporting by clicking here.
Pay Rate Changes
New rates for the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage came into effect April 2017. The Living Wage rose to £7.50 for employees aged 25 or over and who are not in their first year of apprenticeship. The National Minimum Wage rose to £7.05 for employees aged between 21 and 24, it increased to £5.60 for those between the ages of 18 and 20 and lastly, it increased to £4.05 for 16 to 17 years old.
Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay has risen to £140.98 per week. It is a company’s payroll department that have the responsibility of ensuring the above increases have already taken place since their implementation dates last April.
Last April, salary thresholds for foreign employees increased. The Tier 2 (general) salary increased to £25,000 for experienced workers and Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) rose to £30,000. There was also a reduction to £23,000 for graduate trainees with the number of places rising to 20 a year for each company.
Changes to the immigration rules means that businesses who sponsor foreign employees on a Tier 2 (general) visa now must pay a skills charge of £1,000 per employee. For companies with less than 250 employees, the charge is £364. Both charges are on top of normal visa application fees.
Case against Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
A recent judgement by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirms that payment for normal voluntary overtime must be included in the calculation of workers holiday pay.
Be Prepared, Be Proactive
Payroll Managers should be proactive and aware of the above current legislation. Key changes are on the way once Brexit finally arrives but it is so important to keep an eye on developments and focus on current issues at hand, making allowances for existing legislative changes.