In this month's newsletter we have a spotlight on employment issues such as the gender pay gap (GPG), and itemised pay statements.

Amanda Steadman, Principle Knowledge Lawyer in our Employment, Incentive and Immigration Group looks at what employers can learn from the GPG reporting exercise, how to prepare a compelling report and steps you can take to help close the pay gap. 

With a number of high profile cases and the spotlight of the Courts (and unions) very much on the "gig" economy, the latter will be of particular interest to many business as new regulations are coming into force with effect from 6 April 2019 which will require them to give itemised pay statements all workers as well as to employees. Helen Almond, a senior knowledge lawyer provides an update.

We also discuss changes to the law coming for gambling.  

If you would like to discuss any of the articles in further detail we would love for you to get in touch.


Gender Pay Gap

In April 2018, employers reported their gender pay information for the first time. Happily, the wholesale and retail sector performed relatively well compared to other sectors of the economy. Out of 18 sectors, it had the 6th lowest average median pay gap at around 8%. 

The UK's top 5 retailers had median gaps ranging between 7.8% (John Lewis & Partners) to 12.1% (Morrisons). However, retail employers can't afford to rest on their laurels - the BEIS Select Committee has recently said that employers should work towards achieving gap in the range of +/- 3%.  As employers get ready to publish their next set of gender pay figures, now is the time to reflect on the lessons from year one and look ahead to what measures will help close the pay gap in future. 

In her first article, Amanda Steadman, Principal Knowledge Lawyer in the Employment, Incentive and Immigration Group, looks at what employers can learn from the year one reporting exercise.  In her second article, she looks at how to prepare a compelling report and steps you can take to help close the pay gap.

Itemised pay statements - what’s happening?

New regulations are coming into force with effect from 6 April 2019 requiring employers to give itemised pay statements to employees and workers (not just employees as is currently the case). The associate enforcement provisions will also apply to both groups.

In addition, where an employee’s or worker’s pay varies according to the number of hours worked, then the itemised pay statement must also specify the number of hours worked by the worker/employee for which they are being paid.

In the retail and consumer sector, where businesses typically engage significant numbers of casual workers and where worker / employee pay often varies according to the number of hours worked, employers will notice an increased administrative burden. Itemised statements will need to be provided to more people within the business and employers will need to ensure that the correct information regarding hours worked are specified.  The government has produced guidance on how the new regime will apply in different scenarios.

We suggest conducting an audit of the workforce to check who should be receiving an itemised pay statement under the new rules and then reviewing the format of statements to ensure that they comply with the new requirement to specify the number of paid working hours (where relevant).  Please get in touch if we can help.

Changes to Gambling Laws– What are the odds of financial distress to the betting industry?

Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) have been under criticism for encouraging high-stakes gambling and exposing people to the risk of gambling harm. Accordingly, following a consultation with the Gambling Commission, the Government has launched certain reforms to protect players from spiralling gambling addictions, including a reduction in the maximum bet from £100 to £2. However, these measures, which are expected to come into force in April this year (brought forward from October 2019), could cause major financial distress for bookmakers and betting shop owners, who largely rely on profits from FOBTs.

To make up for the loss in tax revenues from FOBTs, the Government has also announced that there will be a rise in Remote Gaming Duty taxes in online gambling, from 15% to 21%. This increased levy is likely to have a damaging effect on the online gaming sector, which includes online betting, bingo and casino games.

In light of these changes, it is likely that the betting industry will experience a period of financial distress. If you are concerned about the consequences of his reform to your business, please contact our firm's restructuring specialists for further advice.

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