Coronavirus: Employer’s resource centre — live guidance available here

What to look out for in 2018 and how Empire can help

BY Donald MacKinnon
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Happy New Year from everyone at Empire. We want to make sure that this is as a successful year as possible for you and to ensure that you have all the support you need to meet the challenges of the year ahead.

The Empire Advisory Service will be able to provide ‘On Demand’ support for individual queries along with a number of courses and a consultancy service to prepare you for the upcoming changes in Employment and Corporate Law. Please see below the dates of the headline changes and how Empire can support you.

1st April 2018 – Increase of the National Minimum Wage.

Key Point (s) to consider

  • The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage will be increasing across all categories from the 1st April. This includes the National Living Wage increasing to £7.83 per hour for those who are aged 25 and over.
  • The Empire Advisory Service will be able to support you with queries relating to this update.
  • We can support with Contract Variations.
  • We can support you if this increase affects your business to the extent you require to restructure/reorganise your workforce.  you may need to  restructure or reorganise

How Empire Can Support You


2nd April 2018 – Increase to the Statutory Rates for Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Shared Parental     Pay, Adoption Pay and Sick Pay.

Key Point(s) to consider

  • The Government has committed to increasing the statutory rates for family friendly payments and sick pay.
  • Although these rates are not increasing by a large amount if you have questions relating to this amendment the Empire Advisory Service will be able to support you.

How Empire Can Support You


4th April 2018 – Deadline for Gender Pay Gap Reporting for Private Sector (Only for Organisations with 250 employees or more)

Key point(s) to consider

  • Your first report will be based on the hourly pay rates as at the 5th of April 2017 and any bonus paid between 6th of April 2016 and the 5th of April 2017. 
  • Gender pay reporting is different to a requirement to carry out an equal pay audit.
  • There are six calculations to carry out and where applicable they must be confirmed by an appropriate person, such as a Chief Executive. 
  • Employers have the option to provide a narrative with their calculations.  This should generally, explain the reasons for the results and give details about what actions that are being taken to reduce or eliminate any gender pay gap. 


How Empire Can Support You

  • We can deliver training on the Regulations.  We can offer a ½ day workshop to help you to understand the requirements upon the organisation;
  • We can analyse the results of your calculations and prepare an action plan to resolve any issues which may be identified (eg. any equal pay concerns);
  • We can support you in developing a formal grading system (where you wish to undertake more analysis to clarify any equal pay gap which the calculations may highlight);
  • We can draft narrative around the calculations, providing an explanation for any anomalies, which can be published externally;
  • We can also support you in your communications to your workforce after analysing the calculations.


25th May 2018 – General Data Protection Regulation introduced.

Key Point(s) to Consider

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into force on 25 May 2018, will impose new burdens on organisations across Europe, including additional reporting requirements and increased fines and penalties. The purpose is to align data protection legislation with the modern digital world and ensure the rights of data subjects.
  • Many of the core concepts under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) are reflected in the GDPR. The UK Government has confirmed that the UK’s exit from the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.  The UK Data Protection Bill is currently working its way through Parliament and once it has received Royal Assent, will replace the DPA and bring the UK data protection regime in line with the GDPR.
  • Compliance with the GDPR is likely to require organisation-wide changes for many businesses, to ensure that personal data is processed in compliance with the GDPR requirements. Such changes may include redesigning systems that process personal data, renegotiating contracts with third party data processors and restructuring cross-border data transfer arrangements. Businesses should therefore consider that these changes may require a significant amount of time to implement, and plan ahead.



Important Upcoming Cases 2018

In addition to the statutory changes discussed above there are also a few cases that are likely to influence the employment law moving forward.

Supreme Court

Pimlico Plumbers Ltd vs Smith 

Employment Status of workers /self-employed contractor

Court of Appeal

The Sash Window Workshop and another v King

Should a worker on termination be paid for annual leave they accrued during employment but were deterred from taking because the employer refused to pay for the leave.

Uber BV and others v Aslam and others

Similar to Pimlico Plumbers on whether their workforce are workers or self-employed.

Bellman V Northampton Recruitment Ltd

Vicarious Liability of a Company after the assault of an employee by the Managing Director immediately following the Christmas party.

© Copyright of Law At Work 2021 Law At Work is part of Marlowe plc’s employee relations division