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Employment law update 2017-2018

Here we summarise the latest employment law changes and legal updates.

Acas are the employment relations experts and a trusted source of advice for employers, employees, Government and others.

The Government has introduced several new changes in employment law in 2017-2018. Brief details of these changes are listed below.

Employment legislation changes in 2017-2018

Effective date

Trade Union Act

The Act reforms the rules on trade union ballots for taking industrial action. The main provisions of the Act are :

  • 50% turnout threshold for there to be a valid ballot on industrial action.

  • Threshold of 40% support from all members in order to take industrial action in key sectors.

  • Four month time limit for which the ballot will remain valid to authorise industrial action.

March 2017

Gender pay gap reporting

To address the gender pay gap, the Government has introduced a requirement for all large organisations to publish their gender pay gap. Employers will need to publish key wage information taken on a snapshot date each year. This will need to include the difference in hourly earnings as well as the gap in bonus pay.

Need further help?

Acas gender pay training

April 2017

Apprenticeship Levy

Employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million per year now have to pay an apprenticeship levy. The levy will apply to all industry sectors, in both the public and private sector, for the purpose of raising money to meet the cost of apprenticeship schemes across the UK.

April 2017

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Increases in hourly rates of pay for both the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage. Details in the table below.

Future changes for both will take place in April of each year. 

Need further help?

Pay - Acas training and support

April 2018

The Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017

From April 2017 employers who sponsor skilled workers under tier 2 of the points based system have had to pay £1,000 per certificate of sponsorship. Employers should confirm that they have checked that all their current employees have the right to work in the UK, and that they can prove that those checks have taken place. A paper trail will be essential.

April 2017

Fit for Work service

In England and Wales, the service stopped accepting new referrals in December 2017, but will continue to deal with ongoing referrals until 31 March 2018. In Scotland, the service is due to end on 31 March 2018 though they may stop accepting new referrals before this date, though this is still to be confirmed

In all locations, Fit for Work will continue to provide telephone advice, webchat, email service and online resources

December 2017

March 2018

Childcare Voucher Scheme

Childcare voucher salary-sacrifice schemes will close to new entrants from 6 April 2018, but can continue for existing users. The new tax-free childcare scheme does not involve employers-individual apply themselves

April 2018

General Data Protection Regulations

The General Data Protection Regulations intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union. The primary objectives of the GDPR are to give citizens and residents back control of their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business. The UK government has confirmed that although it will be leaving the EU they will commit to the regulations.

May 2018

Statutory payments 2018

Weekly payments

From April 2018

Maternity/Paternity/Adoption £145.18
Sick pay£92.05
Lower Earnings Threshold£116
Hourly payments 
National Living Wage Workers aged 25 and over£7.83
National Minimum Wage
Workers aged 21-24£7.38
Workers aged 18-20£5.90
Workers ages 16-17£4.20
Apprentice rate£3.70


Acas employment law update training

This Acas course, which is updated regularly, provides a solid grounding in the latest changes in employment and HR legislation and provides an update into future changes in the law that will enable your business to stay informed, legally compliant and well prepared.

You can view what courses are running and find a course convenient for you at: Acas employment law update training

Acas  provides a comprehensive range of other Training Courses, Workshops and Projects to equip managers, supervisors and HR professionals with the necessary skills to deal with employment relations issues.

What our delegates say about our employment law update training:  

"Another relevant, informative and useful workshop from Acas. The presenter successfully managed to condense a whole raft of Employment Law changes and proposals into a 2 hour session, with plenty of time for questions. Thank you for a very worthwhile presentation."
HR Co-ordinator, Scotland

"Excellent Employment law training session - best I have had from Acas! Aimed at the right level, covered the main topics, and left enough time for discussion and clarification. Thank you."
HR Operations Manager, South East 

"The course was set at the right level and really helped to bring you back to employment law basics as well as appreciating your own company policies and procedures. There was a mixture of HR personnel and managers attending; it was really useful to hear how other companies work and to get ideas."
HR Consultant, local council

"This short course on employment law was excellent value and covered as much as could be covered in 3 hours. The course tutor was excellent and encouraged questions and comment. I was given a large amount of things to read which I haven't yet gone through. I will definitely be recommending this course."
HR professional, HR consultancy 

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