Employment law updates in 2018

2017 was a busy year in the world of Employment Law. Among the legal headlines were the removal of employment fees and the beginning of what was to become a national consultation on the pay gap between men and women.

However, the changes aren’t over for employers and HR professionals: with March 29th 2019 signalling the UK’s separation from the EU, 2018 looks set to be a year of significant change, particularly where Employment Law is concerned. Let’s take a look at the main events you might want to put in your calendar.


Marking the end of the old financial year and the start of the new, it seems appropriate that the topic of tax will take the spotlight this month. April will see the government making changes to the way termination payments are taxed, including safeguarding the first £30,000 against income tax and National Insurance contributions. This will also be the month in which the first reports detailing the pay gap between the sexes must be submitted.

April also heralds the withdrawal of Employment Allowance for a year from any employers who are found to have employed illegal workers.

In addition, the Fit for Work assessment service will be scrapped at the end of March, as well as overhauling its current fit note scheme – exact details as to who, other than Doctors, will hold certification powers in the future is still unclear.


The big one for May will be the government rolling out the EU-approved General Data Protection Regulation laws. Among the many new protocols will be the right for individuals to be informed if their data has been compromised and the right for them to have their information deleted from search engines.


This is the month in which the EU’s Trade Secrets Directive comes into play, giving greater protection to Intellectual Property Rights. For businesses and individuals, this will mean greater recourse in the event that trade secrets are misappropriated, especially by a member of staff.

Other Key Events in 2018

While it’s hard to see beyond the first months of 2018, there are further changes to Employment Law expected, although their absolute dates remain yet to be confirmed. However, if you’re an employer or an HR professional, these are the upcoming key events to keep an eye out for:

Grandparental Leave

A hot topic since Parental Leave was introduced in 2015, Grandparental Leave will see parents able to assign part of their maternity or family leave to grandparents, allowing them to return to work more quickly. In addition, the move is hoped to encourage grandparents to remain in work, rather than having to leave their jobs in order to help their children with childcare.

Payment for Sleep-In Shifts

Towards the end of 2018, the clock will be ticking fast for employers who have not yet chased up their obligations to the Social Care Compliance Scheme. Launched in 2017, the scheme gave employers until 2019 to identify and pay what they owe to workers who may have been paid less than the minimum wage for sleep-in shifts. Once the deadline has expired, employers will have three months in which to make the outstanding payments, or face legal action.


Although this doesn’t come into effect until the third month of 2019, employers will be watching the continued negotiations regarding Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. While the Settled Status agreement seems to have gained some ground, the main issue for employers is likely to be how the legislation for immigrant workers will change.

The anticipated date for review of the rules will be in 2021, which gives businesses three years in which to begin recruiting and try and stay ahead of the constantly-shifting Brexit sands.

2018 looks to be an important year for those who have any dealing with Employment Law. While the short-term changes are well worth investigating, the long-term plans are the ones that are set to have the greatest effects.

Sue Ball is Head of Employment Law at Verisona. If you would like further information please contact Sue on 023 9231 2053 or email sue.ball@verisonalaw.com.

Here are the types of cases we handle:

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Employer Staff Handbooks
  • Redundancy Process
  • Breach of Contract
  • Breach of Restrictive Covenants
  • Tribunal Claims
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Consultancy Agreements

Sports and Football Law

  • Contracts of Employment
  • Service Agreements
  • Contractual Issues
  • Executive Departures

"Over the years, I have developed a great trust in my working relationship with Mike Dyer, Head of Commercial Law at Verisona. One of the things I value most is that he is always at the end of a phone. On the rare occasions he is unavailable, his secretary is always well informed and very helpful. Through Mike, I have met many other members of Verisona and, just like in the recruitment industry, they understand the importance of being treated like an individual. They make me feel valued and important to both them and their business. At Verisona, you always deal with real people who you know and are in a position to help. Most importantly, Verisona delivers. We recently had an urgent situation regarding the restrictive covenants of new members of staff. Employment specialist Susan Ball came in on a day off to listen to us, dissect and analyse the situation, and translate what we wanted to achieve into the best possible legal language and solution. This is just one example of the calm, efficient professionalism I have come to value from Verisona over the years. Verisona has a refreshing approach to the law. They are there when we need them, always easy to talk to, go out of their way to make sure that we understand what they are doing for us and why, and always get the best results".

Stuart Cox

Legally enforcing the tribunal award

To enforce the Tribunal award we applied to the Defendant’s local County Court for it to be registered and for permission to enforce the award.  

The Court granted the application and on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.  As a result the Tribunal award would appear as a County Court Judgment which would likely affect the Defendant’s credit rating. 

Time limits for enforcing Tribunal awards

It is worth noting that there is no time restriction for registering or enforcing a Tribunal award. You can enforce one even if it is several years old.  In addition, it is usually possible to claim interest on the amount until you receive payment.

A commercial business

"Thanks for all your help on this - you've been so helpful to me in guiding and explaining everything, so just to say thank you for obviously helping represent my case but also allowing me to understand the process and giving me greater awareness of what I need to be mindful of when signing future contracts".

Former employee of professional football club

Sue was easy to deal with and offered all options available. Jane was in contact beforehand to tell me what information was needed and Sue was prepared for our meeting. I cannot praise Sue and Jane enough and would have absolutely no hesitation in reommending Sue and her team.

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