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Continuing our ‘what to expect in 2017’ theme from last week, it is worth mentioning the controversial Trade Union Act 2016 (TUA).

The Trade Union Bill received Royal Assent in May last year to become the TUA. The TUA has amended several aspects of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA). The majority of the amendments are not yet in force, but some are expected fairly imminently.

With the anticipated triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) heralding the beginning of Brexit, the likely appeal of the Uber judgment relating to employment status in the gig economy, the introduction of the apprenticeship levy and potential overhaul of corporate governance amongst other developments set to kick-off this year, 2017 is set to be a notable one for employers!

The new year brings with it the end of the first reporting period under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), a measure designed to assist in the fight against international tax evasion by requiring “Financial Institutions” to identify and report to their local tax authorities information on individuals who are tax resident in one country but who receive payments in another country.  This note summarises the obligations under the CRS as they apply to UK registered charities.

Although the 12 Days of Christmas have only just elapsed it appears that many high earning Executives will have already made more money than the average annual salary in the UK. The High Pay Centre has reported that the CEOs of the UK’s FTSE 100 companies will have earned the average UK salary of £28,200, by the first Wednesday of 2017 i.e. just 2.5 working days into the New Year.

The ratio of the average FTSE 100 CEO salary to the average full-time employee in the UK in 2015 was reportedly 129:1. Although perhaps not the most pleasing information to read on returning to work after the festive break, it is a significant reminder of the growing pay gap that we are facing in the UK. 

In this latest in our series of blog articles on the Equality Act (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, (see Mind the Gap Please! Gender Pay Reporting and Equal Pay) we will examine the final draft of the Regulations which were published this month and the changes and clarifications that have been made to them.

Vicarious Liability. It’s the time of year again for the obligatory employment law article warning about the dangers of the office Christmas party!  We lawyers must have been very good this year as a present has landed right on our doorstep, in the form of the High Court (England & Wales) decision of Bellman V Northampton Recruitment Ltd.  

The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) launch the new Simple Procedure for payment claims of up to £5,000 on 28th November 2016.  This will replace and streamline the two current and separate procedures of Small Claims for debts up to £3,000 and Summary Cause for debts over £3,000 but under £5,001.

New rules set out how a claim will be made, detailing the forms to be completed and the procedures that must be followed. Claims will still be made on paper for now but it is anticipated the new Civil Online portal, allowing forms to be submitted electronically, will be introduced in early 2017.  

The emphasis on work experience in recruitment, especially in relation to graduates, has increased hugely in recent years. In 2015, the Independent reported that 58% of employers now rate work experience as more important than grades or a student’s personality when hiring graduates.

According to the BBC in 2013, 61% of graduates end up working for the company or firm that they have interned with. This is likely to be in part because employers will, unsurprisingly, find it much easier to judge whether an individual is a suitable fit for their business after having them work for a few weeks rather than trying to come to a verdict in a 30 minute job interview.

Chambers UK 2018

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