top of page

2016 Employment Law Changes

Following the election of the Conservative Government in May 2015 there are a number of changes which will come in to force in 2016.

It is likely that there will be a greater focus on gender pay equality and more childcare support for parents of children under 4.

Paying women less than men to do the same work has been unlawful since 1970 but the gender pay gap still exists. The government is proposing to introduce a requirement for employers with more than 250 staff to report their gender pay gap figures.

Working parents are likely to get more support this year. A consultation is expected to shed light on proposals for working grandparents to take shared parental leave.


  • Regulations giving zero hours workers the right not to be unfairly dismissed or subjected to a detriment for failing to comply with an exclusivity clause, and to claim compensation – come into force 11 January.


  • The new National Living Wage comes in to force from 1st April. The minimum wage for workers age 25 and over will be £7.20.

  • The National Minimum Wage amendment regulations also double the financial penalties if employers are found to have paid less than the minimum, from 1 April.

  • Statutory rates of maternity allowance and statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) statutory adoption pay (SAP) and statutory sick pay (SPP) will not be increased this April.

Employment-related Acts and Bills

  • The Trade Union Bill introduced on 15 July 2015 continues its passage through Parliament. It will reform strike laws in Great Britain. Its key feature is the introduction of a new voting threshold to make strike action less likely in all sectors. A higher proportion voting for strike action will be required for those working in ‘important public services’, including transport and health.

  • The Enterprise Bill introduced on 16 September 2015 continues its passage through Parliament. It includes provisions on apprenticeships and capping exit payments for public sector workers (see above).

  • The Immigration Bill introduced on 17 September 2015 continues its passage through Parliament. It contains more provisions on illegal working, the introduction of a skills charge and a new duty on public authorities to ensure that everyone who works for them in a customer-facing role speaks fluent English.

  • Plans for a Counter-Extremism Bill were announced in the Queen’s Speech. The legislation will enable employers to monitor employees (who work with children) to lawfully check whether an employee is an extremist. This raises many questions for employers, including who qualifies as an extremist. Will this be up to the employer rather than the police? Also it is unsure how the law will work alongside data protection or discrimination legislation.

Nichola Coulthard

Human Resources is our business leaving you to focus on yours


Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page