15 February, 2017
The government proposed to implement a new tax-free childcare scheme where working families earning at least £50 per week per parent, can claim up to 20% of qualifying childcare costs for children under five and / or children under 17 with disabilities, up to a cap of £2,000 per child per year. However, this will not apply where one family member is an additional rate taxpayer.
On 6th April 2017, all employers operating within the UK with a wage bill of £3 million or more each year within both the private and public sectors are required to pay 0.5% of their annual wage bill towards the cost of apprenticeship training. The Government believe that apprenticeships have long been recognised as a crucial way to develop the skills wanted by employers and this is why the Government are looking to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in England, reaching three million starts in 2020.
2016 saw a rise in discussions regarding the gender pay gap and various definitions within the Equality Act 2010. Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 was brought into force requiring certain employers to make public information regarding the gender pay gap within their business. We are still awaiting the final regulations which are suspected to come into force in April 2017. The Government are very keen to get the regulations in place as they believe that they will drive real changes within the workplace.
The introduction of ET fees saw a substantial reduction in the number of cases being brought in the tribunals. Consequently, the net income from these tribunals has been significantly lower than the total running costs and therefore unprofitable. This could potentially be an area for review in 2017.
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