As we all know, employment law changes all the time, making it difficult for employers and employees to make sure they’re following the rules. We thought we’d list all the changes to UK employment law in October 2016 and beyond:

1. The national minimum wage will increase

The national minimum wage for workers aged between 25 and 21 will increase to £6.95 per hour. The rate for workers aged between 18 and 21 will be raised to £5.55 per hour; and the rate for employees under 18 goes up to £4.00 per hour. Lastly, the apprentice rate increases to £3.40 per hour.

When does this change apply?

The changes apply from the 1st October 2016.

2. New English-language requirements for public-facing workers

Under a new law, workers in the public sector who are required to speak to members of the public will need to speak fluent English. In Wales they will need to speak either English or Welsh.

If you’re a company, the Government has drafted a code of practice to help public authorities comply with the new condition.

When does this change apply?

It’s expected that it will be introduced in October 2016, but so far it hasn’t been confirmed.

3. New charge for migrant workers

As the Government aims to reduce UK employers’ reliance on migrant workers, they have introduced a levy (the immigration skills charge) on visas for organisation sponsoring workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

When does this change apply?

The Government has indicated that the immigration skills charge will be implemented in April 2017.

4. Gender pay gap reporting introduced

Employers with 250 or more employees will now be required to publish details of their gender pay gap and gender bonus gap on a yearly basis.

When does this change apply?

Reports suggest the first reports should be published by April 2018.

5. New rules on public-sector exit payments

If a public sector employee earned £80,000 per year or more quits their position, if they return to the public sector within one year of leaving, they will need to repay any exit payment. This will apply whichever part of the public sector the employee returns to. There will also be a new cap on public sector exit payments – £95,000.

When does this change apply?

The Government hasn’t released any information on a date.

6. Rights of Sunday shop workers improved

Under new rules, Sunday shop workers will be given greater protection. This protection includes a new right for shop workers to object to working more than their normal hours on a Sunday. It also includes a reduction in the notice period for shop workers in large shops to opt out of Sunday working.

When does this change apply?

A start date for the new rules has yet to be released.

7. Tax-free childcare schemes

For families where both parents work, if each parent earns less than £100,000 per year, and has a minimum weekly income at least equivalent to 16 hours at the rate of the national minimum wage, the Government will pay 20% of their yearly childcare costs. This is capped at £2,000 for each child. This new scheme will only apply to parents with children aged under 12.

When does this change apply?

The Government has said that the scheme will be introduced in early 2017.

We hope this list has helped given you a heads-up on a change that affects you or your business. If you need advice on any of these changes, give our experts a call on 01273 696962, or email