This post is an extract from a Wright Hassall People Services Bulletin, which provides important updates for the sector in HR and finance law.

You can view the full update here.

GDPR – Data Protection Bill receives second reading

The Data Protection Bill has just had its second reading in Parliament, it will replace the old Data Protection Act (1998), incorporating new rules agreed at European level, and will sit alongside the GDPR update in May 2018.

The Bill updates regulations in these areas: general data processes, law enforcement processing, national security processing, and giving additional enforcement powers to the Information Commissioner.

Pay Inequality

With the deadline of April 2018 looming for those companies who are obligated to publish details of their gender pay gap (to date, only 1% have done this). The Low Pay Commission reports that women constitute more than 66% of workers paid below the legal minimum – however, according to the ACAS helpline, many do not report their underpayment.

The LPC wants HMRC to be proactive in checking that companies are paying the correct minimum wage, rather than waiting for affected individuals to complain. All companies must now ensure that they update their systems when the rate changes, otherwise they risk being fined and/or prosecuted – as well as publicly named.

Shared parental leave

According to a Freedom of Information request, only 8,700 eligible parents (3% of the total) took shared parental leave in 2016/17, whereas as 661,000 mothers, and 221,000 fathers took maternity and paternity leave respectively. If you need any advice on how to draw up a shared parental leave policy, or in determining how to calculate shared parental pay – contact Wright Hassall.

Illegal working

Penalties for companies found guilty of employing illegal workers totalled just under £6 million between January and March 2017, with those in London and the South East bearing the brunt of them. However, companies in the Midlands were also significantly effected.

Companies found to be employing illegal workers will have their details, including the penalty levied, published online. 

You can read the full bulletin here