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Employment Law in 2016 - Money, Equality and Ethics!

Money - 2016 will be a more expensive year for many employers.  As of April 2016, the national minimum wage will be supplemented by the National Living Wage for workers who are 25 and over. Such workers will be entitled to receive £7.20 (as opposed to the current rate of £6.50). Whilst the increase is expected to boost the wages of six million people, it is anticipated it will lead to the loss of 60,000 jobs in light of the increased wage bill for employers. 

Equality - although 2015 saw the narrowest gender gap in gender pay since 1997, the Government has announced plans to “end the gender pay gap in a generation”.  Whilst the practicalities of such intention remain unknown, the Government has until Spring 2016 to make regulations requiring employers with at least 250 people to publish information about their gender pay gap.  As such, employers may want to start to assess their pay scales now in preparation to identify any pay gaps.

Ethics -  the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 means that businesses will have a role to play in tackling crimes of slavery and human trafficking.  All commercial organisations which carry on a business in the UK involving the supply of goods or services and have a minimum global annual turnover of £36 million (regardless of the turnover of the UK based part of the organisation) will have to produce a “Statement” setting out what steps they have taken during the financial year to ensure their business and supply chains are slavery free.  Organisations whose financial year ends on or after 31 March 2016 will have to make a Statement in respect of that financial year and in every subsequent year.

Wishing you a prosperous and ethical New Year!