While Part I of this blog concentrated on legal changes that have happened in the year so far, Part II aims to highlight issues on the horizon that may affect employers.
Changes to childcare vouchers
Employers operating or considering setting up a Childcare Voucher scheme should be aware that this will close to new parents from 4th October 2018. Parents who want to join the current scheme need to sacrifice their salary and receive their first vouchers on or before 3rd October. They will continue to benefit from tax-free savings on childcare costs so long as they stay with their current employer and their child remains eligible. The employer benefits from savings in employer National Insurance for every parent that stays with the scheme beyond this date.
More data compliancy storms on the horizon
While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) caused upheaval for businesses earlier this year as employers took steps to make sure they were compliant in how they handled individuals’ personal data; the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation from the European Union promises more change.
While ePrivacy Regulation is still being drafted, commentators believe it will be ratified by the EU in 2019 and enforced some time in 2020 falling directly in the UK’s Brexit transition period. Under the terms of the transition period deal agreed earlier this year, the UK has committed itself to adopting new EU rules made during the period, so this is something for employers to be aware about.
Uncertainty of Brexit
And finally, no blog looking to the future of the legal landscape of the UK in the next year or so would be complete without a reference to Brexit. By this time next year, the UK will be in the ‘transition period’ where it will be able to negotiate and ratify its own trade deals which may open frontiers and opportunities for businesses.
If the Brexit deal sees the UK deciding to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA), like Iceland or Norway, then it will have to stay part of the single market and remain subject to employment law like TUPE and the working time directive so the legal landscape will not shift very much.
However, what type of trade deal the UK will leave negotiations with is still within the realm of the crystal ball. At the very least though, if it is to be a meaningful trading relationship, the UK will have to demonstrate a certain level of compliance with certain areas of EU law, particularly in areas like data protection, to facilitate and pave the way for trade.