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Employment Law in 2018: What can we expect?

Employment / 12 January 2018

The new year brings a fresh focus on the changes that we can expect to see in the world of employment law.  In this edition of employmentlaw@work, we take a look at the key developments that are likely to affect your business over the next 12 months.

EU General Data Protection Regulation – The new rules on data protection will apply to all employers from 25 May 2018.  Whilst a number of concepts from our current data protection law remain in place, the changes bring with them significant new requirements on employers including new rules relating to consent, transparency, privacy notices and subject access rights.  The UK’s Data Protection Bill is currently passing through Parliament and will eventually replace the Data Protection Act 1998.

Brexit – Given the length and complexity of the negotiations between the UK and the EU, it is difficult to predict what to expect in this area.  We do know, however, that action is already underway to ensure that existing employment legislation will continue to operate effectively post Brexit.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting – Large private and voluntary sector employers must publish their first gender pay gap reports by 4 April 2018, with large public sector employers required to publish theirs by 30 March 2018.  A number of employers have already published their reports and these are now available to view via the government’s website.

Employment Status and the Gig Economy – In this complex area of law, we await with interest the Supreme Court’s decision in Pimlico Plumbers v Smith after the case has been heard in February 2018, as well as further case law in this area, including the Court of Appeal decision in the high-profile Uber case.  Employers will also be keen to review the government’s response to the findings of the Taylor Review, although it is unclear how long we will need to wait for this.

Mental Health at Work – This will remain a hot topic in 2018 following the publication of key reports during 2017, including“Thriving at Work:  The Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers” (available to view here).  All 40 of the recommendations in the review will now be taken forward by the government.

Protection for Pregnant Workers – We await with interest the ECJ’s decision in Porras Guisado v Bankia SA and others.  The Advocate General has already given her opinion in this case that pregnant workers are protected from dismissal even before their employer has been informed of the pregnancy.  Will the ECJ agree?

Holiday Pay – Following the ECJ’s recent reference – confirming that workers are entitled to be paid on termination for any periods of annual leave that have accrued during employment where they have been discouraged from taking that leave because it would have been unpaid – the Sash Windows case will now be heard by the Court of Appeal.  The decision will have significant implications for those whose status has been mis-classified as self-employed rather than worker, and those businesses that engage them.  Our recent employmentlaw@work on this case can be viewed here.

Sex Discrimination and Shared Parental Pay
 – The EAT heard the appeal in Capita Customer Management v Ali in December 2017 and we eagerly await the judgment.  Previously, an employment tribunal had ruled that a male employee was subjected to sex discrimination when his employer refused to allow him any period of shared parental leave at full pay (when a woman on maternity leave would have received full pay for a set period).

You can hear about many of these issues, and more, at our upcoming Big Issues event held in both Cambridge and Peterborough.  Please click here for more details of the event and for information on how to book your place.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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