UK: What To Expect In UK Employment Law In 2018: GDPR, Brexit Negotiations And More

Last Updated: 11 January 2018
Article by Katie L. Clark, Paul McGrath and Carlene Nicol


Whilst 2017 was anticipated to be a fairly static year for employment law (as we reported here), that did not in fact prove to be the case, and there were various notable developments, including the following:

  • The landmark defeat of the employment tribunal fees regime introduced by the Government in 2013.
  • The release of the hotly anticipated " Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices".
  • A flurry of case law on employment status in the gig economy, demonstrating a clear trend towards the courts recognising workers' rights for individuals previously considered (or at least labelled as) self-employed. This included confirmation in November 2017 that where an individual has been miscategorised as self-employed instead of as a worker, then the associated holiday pay compensation must cover loss for all holiday, untaken or unpaid, over the whole of the engagement—a decision that could have far-reaching and very expensive consequences for UK employers.

To a large degree, 2018 is likely to be defined by the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the passage of the EU Withdrawal Bill, which will, amongst other things, lay the framework for the future movement of EU workers to the United Kingdom. Employers should, however, be aware of some additional key developments on the horizon.

In Depth

Expected 2018 Increase in the Number of Employment Tribunal Claims

According to recently published UK Government statistics, since the abolition of tribunal fees in July 2017, there has been a 64 per cent increase in the number of employment tribunal claims.

UK employers should therefore expect a rise in the number of employment tribunal claims. Indeed, employment tribunals have been writing to claimants who previously submitted claims but had their claims invalidated for failure to pay the fee or to succeed in a remission application, inviting them to resubmit their original claim, despite the lapse in time.
Expected early 2018 Government Response to the Taylor Review, the Gig Economy and Ongoing Employment Status Cases

"Good Work: the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices" was published in July 2017. The Taylor Review included a number of recommendations, particularly in respect of the gig economy and the continuing debate on employment status issues. The House of Commons and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees have completed their analysis of the Taylor Review and issued their own recommendations, and so now we wait to see which the Government might take on board during the course of 2018.

In the meantime, we likely will continue to see high-profile employment status cases in 2018 (including an appeal in the Pimlico Plumbers case, which the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear in February 2018, seeking to overturn the Court of Appeal's finding that the plumbers are workers, and not self-employed).
Expected early 2018 Brexit and EU Immigration

It is currently relatively straightforward to recruit an EEA citizen to work in the United Kingdom, provided that the candidate can evidence a right to work in the United Kingdom by producing the appropriate documentation, such as a passport (UK), National ID card (UK or EU) or EEA registration certificate.

According to the UK Government's recent proposals regarding the status and rights of EEA citizens in the United Kingdom after Brexit, provided that a worker who is an EEA citizen has started working in the United Kingdom before Brexit, he or she will be permitted to apply for "temporary status" or "settled status", depending on the length of the individual's UK service at the time of Brexit. Both statuses will allow non-British citizens already working in the United Kingdom to remain and continue to work. This proposal, of course, could change as Brexit negotiations continue.

A Home Office White Paper on immigration and a draft new Immigration Bill are expected in due course, possibly as early as the first quarter of 2018. Watch this space.
4 April 2018 Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting Deadline

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 require employers in the private sector with at least 250 employees to publish by 4 April 2018 (and public sector employers by 30 March 2018), at the latest, information on gender pay. The information to be published includes the difference between the mean and median hourly rates of pay and bonus for male and female employees.

For more information on the requirements, see our previous alert here.
6 April 2018 Taxation of Termination Payments – PILONs

The Government has resolved uncertainty over whether a payment made in lieu of notice (PILON) should be taxed, by providing that all PILONs, whether contractual or non-contractual, are taxable and subject to Class 1 National Insurance Contributions (NICs). This change comes into effect on 6 April 2018. This proposal was revised during 2017, and now employers will be required to calculate the taxable PILON on the basis of basic pay only.

The way in which a standard termination payment is taxed will also change, but not until 2019. Currently, the first £30,000 of a termination payment is payable without deduction of income tax or NICs. Any amount over £30,000 is subject to income tax, but currently not NICs. The proposed change is that, in future, payment in excess of £30,000 will be subject to employer's NICs (but not employee's NICs). This had been due to come into effect from April 2018. However, the Government has now postponed the implementation of this change to April 2019.
25 May 2018 GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into force on 25 May 2018.

The GDPR will supersede the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and apply to all data controllers and processors who have an establishment in Europe and all those outside Europe that process data in connection with the offering of goods or services to, or monitoring of, data subjects in the European Union, which, pending Brexit, still includes the United Kingdom.

Whilst to a large extent the GDPR builds on existing data protection standards, it will place additional compliance burdens on employers and significantly increase the risks for organisations that are not compliant. Notably, the GDPR will permit fines of up to 4 per cent of annual worldwide turnover (or, if higher, EUR 20 million), although it remains to be seen precisely what enforcement approach the relevant supervisory authorities will adopt.

Key themes of the new regime include the following:
  • Stricter requirements for obtaining consent from individuals before processing their personal data. These will make it very difficult to establish valid consent in the employment context, meaning that employers will generally wish to rely on other lawful bases for processing data.
  • A requirement to provide more detailed information to data subjects. This will require employers to have a thorough understanding of what and how employee personal data is being processed, and will necessitate existing employee data protection policies and/or privacy notices to be revised appropriately.
  • A new requirement for organisations to be able to demonstrate compliance with data protection principles, which will include maintaining an "accountability record" of processing activities.
  • Enhanced data subject rights, including, in addition to the subject access right already familiar to many UK employers, the "right to be forgotten", the right to rectification and the right to object to processing in certain circumstances. These rights should be reflected in updated employee privacy notices.
  • A requirement for certain organisations to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Specifically, a DPO will be required for (1) most public authorities or bodies; (2) organisations whose core activities consist of processing and require regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale; and (3) organisations whose core activities consist of processing special categories of personal data and personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences (i.e., what we know currently as "sensitive" data) on a large scale.
  • New cyber security and data breach notification obligations requiring higher standards of cyber security and personal data breaches to be reported to the relevant supervisory authority without undue delay and within 72 hours where feasible. From a human resource perspective, organisations may wish to establish a dedicated breach response team and train personnel to ensure prompt escalation of and response to any breach incident.
  • New obligations on "processors", meaning that employers should review the contracts they have with payroll processors, insurers and other suppliers to the HR function.
To the extent they have not already done so, employers should take steps now to assess the impact of the GDPR and prepare for its arrival.

The GDPR will be supplemented in the United Kingdom with a new Data Protection Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament. Amongst other things, it is expected that this bill will (1) ensure that GDPR-equivalent data privacy standards are maintained following Brexit, and (2) take advantage of provisions in the GDPR which permit more specific rules to be introduced in particular areas, including employment. Again, watch this space.

What To Expect In UK Employment Law In 2018: GDPR, Brexit Negotiations And More

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions