Business planning for 2018

By Emma Swan, partner, and Trishna Modessa, trainee solicitor, Forbes Solicitors.

As business owners and managers we often start the New Year with good intentions of reviewing our businesses and planning for the year ahead in order to be one step ahead of some of the challenges we anticipate.

However, we recognise that the success of our business isn’t just about our own conscientious planning but of crucial importance is the people in our business – how productive they are, how efficient they are, how many sales they are closing… the list goes on.

So in 2018 make sure that your people are, or remain, your priority and start by considering some of the key developments in HR and employment law for the year ahead.Brexit

We appreciate that there are no immediate changes to our employment laws as a result of Brexit. But we must remain vigilant to what is being discussed in the Brexit negotiations because these do have an impact on the resilience of our economy, the business opportunities that are open to us and the people available to work in our businesses.

In particular, the uncertainty around the rights of EU citizens to continue working in the UK will affect us all, whether we are hiring for particular sectors or as business consumers using services that have been impacted.Gig economy

Flexibility of our workforce is fundamental to our businesses when dealing with the pressures imposed by the economy.

Businesses like Uber and Deliveroo have been able to grow and survive by treating their couriers and drivers as self-employed, thus avoiding pensions, tax and national minimum wages.

However, the controversial legal battles come as no surprise and have recently kept businesses on their toes. Earlier this month, Uber lost its appeal against a landmark ruling that the drivers were considered as workers and have since launched their appeal to the Supreme Court. GDPR

These four letters seem to have become the talk of the town for businesses across the UK, however small or large they may be. Whilst we cannot delve into the GDPR in any detail within this article, the main thing to state is that if you haven’t already started preparing for the implementation on 25 May 2018, you must start today. Abolition of ET fees

Whilst there has not been a sudden influx of claims as expected by the pivotal abolition of ET fees, businesses can no longer make the risky decisions or side step processes.

The danger of poor HR advice or equally ignoring the advice received could prove to be extremely costly as employees no longer have as much to lose in taking their chances to lodge a tribunal claim against you.Gender pay gap reporting

The gender pay gap report is due on 4 April 2018 and again whilst we won’t explore this particular challenge in much detail, the best advice is to ensure that you have collated the information and you are prepared to produce the report with all evidence already stacked up.In summary these are only some of the challenges that we as businesses face next year. The best course of action for the New Year is preparation, organisation and communication.

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