UK Employment Law Timetable

An overview of the legal changes that took effect in 2018

Injury to Feelings Compensation in Discrimination Claims

March 2018

The “Vento Bands” are used to determine levels of compensation for injury to feelings in discrimination cases.

The ‘bandings’ are revisited now in line with inflation, and the new bands will apply to any discrimination claims presented on or after 6 April 2018. The Vento bands shall be increased as follows:

Lower – for less serious cases £900 – £8,600
Middle – for serious cases which do not merit being in the higher band £8,600 – £25,700
Upper – the most serious cases £25,700 – £42,900
Exceptional cases Over £42,900

The next review will be in March 2019.

National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) Rates

April 2018

The Government accepted the recommendations from the Low Pay Commission on the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage and accordingly from April 2018:

The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £7.50 to £7.83.

The National Minimum Wage rates will be increased from:

  • £7.05 to £7.38 for 21 to 24 year olds;
  • £5.60 to £5.90 for 18 to 20 year olds
  • £4.05 to £4.20 for 16 and 17 year olds; and
  • £3.50 to £3.70 for apprentices
Employment Tribunal Award Limits

April 2018

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2018 has been laid before parliament, coming into force on 6 April 2018.

It contains the normal annual increases to maximum and minimum tribunal awards.

Key increases are:-

  • maximum week’s pay (for redundancy payments and the unfair dismissal basic award): £508 (currently £489)
  • maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal: £83,682 (currently £80,541) or a year’s gross pay, whichever is lower.
  • Guarantee Pay: the limit on amount of pay payable to an employee in respect of any day is £28 (from £27)
Statutory Payments

April 2018

The Government has published the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay from April 2018.

The new rates are as follows:-

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
    The weekly rate of SSP is £92.05
  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
    The standard weekly rate of SMP is £145.18
  • Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
    The standard weekly rate of SAP is £145.18
  • Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
    The standard weekly rate of SPP is £145.18

To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit. This amount is increasing to £116 in April 2018.

Tax on Termination Payments

April 2018

From 6 April 2018, all payments in lieu of notice (PILONs) will be subject to tax and national insurance contributions (NICs), regardless of whether the employee’s contract of employment contains a payment in lieu of notice (PILON) clause.

This means that payments made in lieu of a notice period will be treated as earnings and employers will no longer be able to utilise use the £30,000 income tax exemption for any such payments even if there is no PILON in an employee’s contract.

The tax exemption for payments up to £30,000 made in connection with termination of employment (such as redundancy) will remain in place, but payments above that amount will be subject to both income tax and employer NICs.


April 2018

From 6 April 2018 there will be an increase in the minimum contribution that employers and employees must pay into automatic enrolment workplace pensions, from 2% to 5%, with an employer minimum contribution of 2%. The employee will need to make up the shortfall between the employer’s contribution and the statutory minimum.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting

April 2018

Private-sector, voluntary sector and public-sector organisations with 250 employees or more will be required to publish gender pay gap information for the first time.

Employers will be obliged to release information relating to employee pay and bonus pay, as well as information on the number of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay distribution.

Gender pay gap regulations for private and voluntary sector employers are still in draft form but the deadline for the first report is expected to be 4 April 2018, based on pay and bonus data from 2016/17.

Reporting requirements for public-sector employers are expected to mirror private-sector timelines and requirements.

General Data Protection Regulations

25 May 2018

The General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 EU) (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC).

In January 2012, the European Commission announced its intention to reform the data protection rules on the basis that reform is necessary to strengthen online data protection rights and boost Europe’s digital economy by harmonising data protection rules across the European Union (EU). The Commission proposed that the existing Directive would be replaced by a Regulation, which means that it would be binding on every member state and would not need to be transposed into national law.

The Regulation harmonises data protection law across the EU and extends it to include all foreign companies processing the data of EU residents. The Regulation:

  • provides for the creation of a single data protection authority instead of the supervisory authority of each member state, and the creation of data protection officers for all public authorities and companies processing high volumes of data;
  • provides for the imposition of a fine of €20 million or 4% of global turnover, whichever is greater;
  • requires the positive consent of individuals to have their data processed;
  • provides for the notification of breaches to the data protection authority; and
  • extends the special categories of information, such as trade union membership and religious belief or political opinion, to include information relating to health.

On 7 August 2017, the Government published a Statement of intent: A new Data Protection Bill – our planned reforms. It confirms that the Data Protection Bill will repeal the Data Protection Act 1998. The Bill will introduce a new data protection regime, including by making changes to the definition of “personal data” and the rules on consent, and bring data protection rules in the UK into line with the requirements of the GDPR. The Bill will utilise the derogations contained within the GDPR, including the derogations that permit the Government to legislate on the processing of criminal conviction and offence data and in the area of automated individual decision-making.

Fit For Work Scheme Scrapped

May 2018

The Government has scrapped its Fit for Work service, blaming “low referral rates”. The service will come to an end in England at the end of March and in Scotland at the end of May 2018. Read more …
Real Living Wage Rates

5 November 2018

The Real Living Wage Rates are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, and are based on the best available evidence about living standards in London and the UK.

The Real Living Wage is a voluntary rate of pay payable to anyone aged 18 or over.

On 5 November 2018 the Real Living Wage rates will be increased from:

  • UK £8.75 to £9.00; and
  • London £10.20 to £10.55
State Pension Age Rises to 66 Years

December 2018

The Pensions Act 2007 raises the state pension age from 65 to 66 years to reflect the ageing nature of the population. The rise in the state pension age to 66 for men and women begins gradually from December 2018 until April 2020. The Pensions Act 2007 also raises the state pension age to 67 and 68. The Act can be viewed on the OPSI website.
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