A regular feature of our Up to date briefing is to keep you appraised of open consultations, calls for evidence and surveys affecting the employment law arena. If you would like us to respond on your behalf, please let us know.

We set out below details and links to the consultations, calls for evidence and survey documents which may be of interest to in-house employment lawyers and HR professionals.

Open consultation / Calls for evidence / Surveys

Work, health and disability (Closure date - 17 February 2017)

On 31 October 2016, the Government published a consultation on work, health and disability to enable it to better understand why disabled people, and those suffering from long-term ill-health conditions, find it difficult to secure or maintain employment. This is in light of current statistics which show fewer than 5 in 10 disabled people are in employment, compared to 8 in 10 of non-disabled people. The aim of the consultation is to recognise the wide range of conditions and circumstances that they face and how to improve the system to support them.

This consultation is of interest to a variety of stakeholders including large and small employers, individuals with long-term ill-health conditions and individuals with disabilities.

Employment allowance: restricting the allowance from employers of "illegal workers" (Closure date - 3 January 2017)

On 8 November 2016, HMRC published a consultation paper on draft regulations which will exclude certain employers from claiming National Insurance Contributions Employment Allowance for one year where:

  • the employer employed illegal workers; and
  • the employer has been penalised by the Home Office; and
  • all appeal rights against that penalty have been exhausted.

It is proposed that this measure will come into force in April 2018.

Caste discrimination: announcement of future consultation on caste discrimination (The proposal to consult was announced on 2 September 2016. At the time of writing, the consultation paper has not been published.)

On 2 September 2016, the Government announced it will undertake a public consultation on the issue of caste and the Equality Act 2010.

The aim of the consultation will be to obtain the views on whether additional measures are needed to ensure victims of caste discrimination have appropriate legal protection and effective remedies under the 2010 Equality Act.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks from its commencement date.

Recently closed consultation / Calls for evidence / Surveys

Apprenticeship Levy: consultation on draft regulations for calculation and payment (Closure date - 14 November 2016)

On 19 September 2016, HMRC published a consultation on the draft regulations covering the calculation, payment and reporting of the Apprenticeship Levy, including the operation of the £15,000 annual levy allowance. Views were sought on whether the regulations achieved the objectives set out in the legislation and whether they produced any unintended consequences.

The draft regulations are of relevance to employers who will have a liability to pay the Apprenticeship Levy, and anyone who runs payroll services for employers with a liability to pay.

Gender pay gap reporting in the public sector (Closure date - 30 September 2016)

On 18 August 2016, the Government Equalities Office published a consultation seeking views on introducing mandatory gender pay gap reporting for large public sector employers. The proposals largely mirror the arrangements that will be put in place for the private sector from April 2017.

This consultation was of relevance to large public sector employers.