March 1st, 2016

Summary of HR Legislation changes for 2016

Gender Pay Gap Audit:
Employers need to start preparing. Initially the ruling was that at ‘sometime’ during 2016, companies with employees of more than 250 would need to run a gender pay audit and publish the results! Now this has been pushed to 2018 (recent development) however a snapshot of the data must be taken in 2017. Look out for the government’s response to the ‘Closing the Gender pay Gap’ consultation which will determine the final policy.

The National Living Wage:
Set to come into force in April 2016, starting at £7.20 and rising to £9 p/h by 2020, the National Living Wage is already proving divisive. 54% of employers expect their pay bill to rise when the NLW is introduced, almost 1/3 are planning to improve efficiency and productivity in response. This will no longer be a voluntary option for employers for those 25 years and older. Some suggestion (CIPD) is that employers may look to employ more under 25’s to combat the increase……some diversity and discrimination issues may be on the horizon!

Sunday Working Hours:
From this Autumn, local authorities and city mayors in England and Wales can extend Sunday trading hours, allowing shops to stay open for longer than the current 6 trading hours. Workers will be able to opt out of Sunday working by giving one months’ notice (rather than 3 months which they currently must give when opting out).

Not legislation, but issues HR should be aware of:
Stress related absence and mental illness in the organisation. CIPD has found that a continued lack of manager training (a stressed employees first point of call is their boss) is contributing to the ongoing issue along with increased workloads and 24 hour access to technology leading to employees becoming unable to switch off. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 9.9 million days were lost to work related stress, depression or anxiety last year, therefore this should be a focal area for HR to look at more mental health initiatives catered for more organisational wellbeing packages and a more supportive corporate culture (as well as signposts for employees to access appropriate help). CIPD have also suggested a policy on stress.

Cyber security – Increasing the organisations cyber security. There have been some high profile data breaches recently (Morrison’s facing a legal claim from 2000 employees whose data was leaked from a disgruntled employee, in 2014 Sony Pictures was also involved in a huge hacking scandal).

For more information on how this might effect you, please get in touch and our HR Department will assist you.