Autumn Statement 2016 - an employment law breakdown
Natalie Ruane provides a breakdown of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement regarding employment law.
The Autumn Statement included a number of measures relating to employment including the restriction of the benefits available from salary sacrifice arrangements.
From April 2017, the only benefits that will continue to benefit from tax and NICs relief if provided through a salary sacrifice arrangement are:
- Enhanced employer pension contributions to registered pension schemes (and pensions advice).
- Childcare benefits (employer-supported childcare and provision of workplace nurseries).
- Cycles and cyclists' safety equipment provided under the cycle to work scheme.
- Ultra-low emission cars.
This means that in the future other schemes such as additional holiday will not attract the tax and NICs relief currently allowed. However, it is worth noting that existing arrangements will be protected until April 2018 (or April 2021 for cars, accommodation and school fees).
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
On 6 December 2016, the Government published the revised version of the draft Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations. The Regulations are expected to come into force on 6 April 2017. The amended Regulations appear to address some of the concerns raised with the original version which was published back in February 2016.
- The definition of “relevant employee” has been amended to state “a person who is employed by the employer at the relevant snapshot date.”
- Employers are now required to base their calculations on only “full-pay relevant employees.” This means they no longer need to include employees who are on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave, sick leave or special leave.
- The Regulations now include a detailed method by which employers must calculate employees’ gross hourly pay, using normal working hours where applicable and adopting a 12 week reference period for employees whose working hours vary from week to week.
- The Regulations have been amended so that only a portion of a bonus payment that is proportionate to the relevant pay period should be included in the calculation.
- In addition, the “snapshot date” for determining whether employees meet the 250 employee threshold has moved from 30 April to 5 April of each year.
About the author
Natalie is a Partner and leads the Employment Law & HR team and specialises in education.