View Policy

We use our cookies and third party cookies to improve our services, obtain statistics, allow you to remember your login details, and to facilitate your interaction with social networks. By continuing to navigate you consent to the use of cookies.

Recruitment and HR Blog

5 Key Employment Law Developments for 2017

10th January 2017

A thumbnail of a recruitment or HR blog

2017 looks set to be a busy year for employers with a range of significant employment law changes coming into force, and ongoing uncertainty regarding what will happen to UK employment legislation derived from Europe following the Brexit referendum results. Here’s 5 key employment law changes for 2017, with important topics you need to know as an employer and the effects they may have on your business.

1) Gender Pay Gap Reporting

As of April this year, businesses with more than 250 employees will be required to collect data on and then report how they pay men and women, which will affect around 8,000 businesses across the UK. Businesses will be required to publish the data no later than April 2018 (employers will have up to 12 months to choose when to publish the information).

As an employer, you will need to ensure you’re as prepared as possible. For more information on what needs to be done to ensure your business complies with regulations, read ACAS’s full guidance


2) Introduction of Apprenticeship Levy for large employers

From April 2017, employers with a wage bill of more than £3 million will have to pay a 0.5 per cent levy to fund apprenticeships. The broad aim is to raise £3bn a year to meet a target of three million new ‘high quality’ apprenticeships by 2020.

This also means that large employers will be able to access levied amounts, plus a government top-up of 10%, to fund apprenticeships from accredited training providers.

Smaller organisations that are not required to pay the levy will also be able to receive funding for accredited apprenticeships by contributing 10% towards the cost of an apprenticeship, with the Government paying the remaining cost.

For more information on the Apprenticeship Levy, read the CIPD’s guide on how it will work in practice.

3) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

On 14 April 2016, the European Parliament approved a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and despite Brexit the UK will implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it comes into force on 25 May 2018.

May of 2018 might seem a long way off, but the scope of changes needed to comply means employers need to start preparing this year. Employers will need to prepare for the upcoming changes in order to avoid risking fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is higher.

To ensure compliance with the new regulations, employers will have to carry out audits of employee personal data that they collect and process and make sure it meets GDPR guidelines for employee consent. New governance and record-keeping requirements mean that employers will also have to create or amend policies and processes on privacy notices, data breach responses and subject access requests.

For more information on General Data Protection Regulation, read Personnel Today’s Employer Guide


4) National Living Wage & Minimum Wage Changes

The Government's National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and is currently set at £7.20 per hour. From the 1st of April 2017, the rate will be:

  • £7.50 per hour - 25 yrs old and over
  • £7.05 per hour - 21-24 yrs old
  • £5.60 per hour - 18-20 yrs old
  • £4.05 per hour - 16-17 yrs old
  • £3.50 for apprentices under 19 or 19+ who are in the first year of apprenticeship.


5) Restrictions placed on salary-sacrifice schemes

In his first Autumn Statement last year, Chancellor Philip Hammond clamped down on salary sacrifice schemes which means that as of April 2017, the government will abolish tax exemptions on most salary sacrifice benefit schemes, in a move that will fundamentally redefine the nature of employee benefits.

Salary sacrifice schemes are not being banned outright, however the move will affect many benefits providers, with employers facing difficult choices over which employee benefits to continue if the majority become uneconomic or unattractive for their staff.

Many employee benefits such as gym memberships, mobile phones and white goods, among others, will become highly unattractive, whereas schemes related to pension savings (including pensions advice), childcare, cycle-to-work and ultra-low emission cars will not be affected. Schemes in place prior to April 2017 will be protected until April 2018, while arrangements related to cars, accommodation and school fees will be protected until April 2021.

If you’re an employer, what impact do you think the changes to employment laws will have on your business?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, so drop us an email at or give us a call on 0844 967 4467.

Published by JVP Group on 10th January 2017.

Click here to view our other blogs & articles

Receive latest recruitment and HR blogs direct to your inbox

Discover how JVP Group can help you to attract & hire the best people, whilst removing the hassle and high costs from the recruitment process:

Job Board

Employer branded job advertising icon

Discover >

Social Media
Recruitment Marketing

Social Media Icon

Discover >

Tracking System

Application Tracking System Icon

Discover >

Skills &
Knowledge Testing

Skills and knowledge testing Icon

Discover >