What to expect in Employment Law in 2018 and how to prepare?
This year we have had the decision from the European Court of Justice in the case of King v The Sash Window Workshop Ltd. This decision found that a worker is entitled to be paid on termination for any periods of annual leave that have accrued during employment, where the worker has been discouraged from taking that leave because it would have been unpaid.
This decision is likely to have consequences for those who have misclassified workers as independent contractors. It also brings into question the compatibility of UK legislation in relation to time limits on bringing back-dated holiday claims. We are therefore likely to see further developments in this area in 2018 and await the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
Employment status has been a big hot topic this year with high profile names such as Uber and Deliveroo hitting the headlines. We expect to see similar cases being decided going into 2018. It is important that businesses review their working relationships particularly with temporary staff that may be recruited over Christmas.
General Data Protection Regulation
One of the most significant changes in 2018 is likely to be the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation which is expected to come into our law on 25 May 2018 and the UK’s Data Protection Act. If as a business you haven’t already started your preparation for this, now is the time to start. The aim of the GDPR is to have a common set of rules across the EU dealing with data protection.
We currently have a Data Protection Bill which, when implemented, is likely to preserve the GDPR in UK law post Brexit. Key provisions of the GDPR include a tougher penalty regime, extended rights for data subjects, a greater focus on the legal basis for processing and a requirement to give more information to data subjects. Look out for Brachers’ seminars on this topic…
We are also seeing changes next April to the way termination payments are taxed so that all payments in lieu of notice will be fully taxable and subject to National Insurance. This will be followed by, the following April, genuine compensation payments being subject to National Insurance (employer liability only) for any amount over £30,000. This will mean additional costs for businesses which will need to be considered when negotiating exit packages.
With tribunal fees now abolished, we are already seeing an increase in the number of claims being brought. Since employment tribunal fees were introduced, the number of claims brought had dropped off by around 80%. We are therefore now expecting the number of claims next year to be on the increase. It is important going into the new year that businesses, bearing this is mind, ensure that their policies and procedures are reviewed.
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