Several changes in the law will affect car dealers in 2017

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Car dealers need to be ready for the big employment changes being introduced later in 2017. Those that aren’t could find themselves in a very tricky situation. This means that Q1 may be a very busy period for many of them.

The first big change is that from 5th April 2017 businesses with 250 staff or more need to publish the average pay gap between male and female employees. Figures will have to be published online and left there for three years to showcase that progress in bringing the gap down is being made. Evidence of compliance will be required.

The second big change is the introduction of the Government’s apprenticeship levy. This is designed to raise funds to pay for apprenticeships. From 6th April all businesses with an annual payroll of £3 million or more will have to pay 0.5% of this towards the levy. There will be a £15,000 allowance and funds can be claimed back in the form of hiring apprentices. Unfortunately car dealers are reporting that communicated details have been poor and there is a lot of confusion.

The third change is the rise in the living wage. From 1st April it will rise by 4.1% to £7.50 per hour. The penalties for failing to pay this can be severe. Fines of up to 200% of the amount owed can be issued and employers can be named and shamed. BEIS has already released 200 names of businesses since the introduction of the living wage in April 2016. Of these 198 were related to the automotive industry.

Car dealers must also ensure they are aware of the Modern Slavery Act and act according to it. This means they should publish a statement covering the steps they have taken and put the right procedures in place to check applicants. The fine for breaching the Act is unlimited and guilty employers can face a jail term as well.

In the past you will have seen all of the articles we have written about how we can help with motor trade recruitment and finding the right people for jobs. John Gibson Associates is also committed to advising clients about their obligations. That is why we are offering the information above. We recommend all dealerships do some research and get prepared for the changes coming into force.