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4 pieces of legislation businesses need to be aware of

Written by Paula Devine | 27 Mar 2018

You might already be aware of the following legislation and how it can impact your business, but often, executing the changes necessary to comply is a challenge, particularly if you’ve no legal background or support.

In this blog post, we outline 4 of the most prominent legislations that businesses need to be aware of right now, with some recommended reading and guidance on the necessary steps to take, in the hope of setting you on the path to total compliance.

Gender pay gap reporting

Gender pay gap reporting requires companies of 250 employees or more to publish statutory calculations every year stating how large the pay gap is between men and women. From April 2017, employers have had up to 12 months to publish this information, so the deadline of 4 April 2018 is fast approaching. All you have to do is calculate the following:

1. Your mean gender pay gap
2. Your median gender pay gap
3. Your mean bonus gender pay gap
4. Your median bonus gender pay gap
5. Your proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment
6. Your proportion of males and females in each quartile band

This information needs to be published somewhere accessible on your website, but is intended to prompt employers to consider taking the necessary action to eliminate the gaps in gender pay. Note that this is not the same as the Equal Pay Act, which aims to address the issue of men and women being pay unequally in jobs of a similar. Rather, it hopes to shine a light on the issues that could be causing a pay gap, such as a lack of women in senior roles.

Making Tax Digital (MTD)

As written in a previous post, we explained how in the coming year, VAT registered businesses will be required to submit their tax returns electronically. This is set to be one of the biggest changes in tax administration. It is hoped that it will reduce the UK tax gap while seeing an end to annual tax returns.

As long as you have the correct software to deal with the change, this transition to digital tax returns should be easy. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to employ the help of a tax adviser or accountant to ensure you are compliant in time for April 2019.

The EU Cookie Law

The EU Cookie Law is a piece of legislation that requires businesses to obtain consent from their website visitors to retrieve and store ‘cookies’, which are then used to enhance the user’s experience.

Cookies are small files stored on a user’s computer, smartphone or device that keep track of the user’s activity. Their purpose is to create a more personalised experience for the visitor, but of course, this raises concerns around data security and privacy. And that’s why the EU Cookie Law was brought in.

To comply with this law, businesses must simply obtain consent from their visitors. This involves communication where the user affirmatively and knowingly indicates their consent, such as a pop-up, banner, or by clicking an icon.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Now, this is a biggie. If you haven’t heard of this by now, we strongly suggest visiting the EU GDPR website right away. For others, you might be aware of the law but not quite sure how to ensure that you comply in all areas. For the purpose of this blog post, we will lay out a brief summary of the GDPR expectations but will recommend some further reading.

The GDPR is an update of the Data Protection Act and calls for businesses to handle their data more responsibly, with the intention of strengthening and protecting the privacy of EU citizens.

What this means, is that businesses must obtain clear and affirmative consent for all communications in the form of a positive opt-in. GDPR requires business to prove they have obtained consent, or that the processing of data is under legitimate interest of either the company or the individual.

If you have historic data stored in your portals for which you cannot prove consent, you may need to run a re-consent or data cleaning exercise, or completely delete data for which you have not sought consent, for example, data that had been purchased from third parties.

If you require any guidance or advice with regards to any of the aforementioned legislations, please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to guide you.

Topics: Uncategorized

Paula Devine

Written by Paula Devine

Paula is Head of Membership and Global Services at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

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