22nd January 2018


 Issue No.  2018/01



2018 - What's in Store

As we start 2018, we are kicking off our Information Updates with an overview of some of the things on the agenda for 2018.




From April 2018




Sick pay



Lower Earnings Threshold



National Living Wage


Workers age 25 and over



National Minimum Wage


Workers aged 21-24



Workers aged 18-20



Workers ages 16-17



Apprentice rate




This table shows the minimum contributions you must pay and the date when they must increase: 


Employer minimum contribution

Employee contribution

Total minimum contribution

Until 5 April 2018




6 April 2018 to 
5 April 2019




6 April 2019 onwards




The amount you and your employees pay into your pension scheme will vary depending on the type of scheme you have chosen and the rules of that scheme. You can find this information in the scheme documents sent to you when you set up the pension scheme or you can speak to your pension provider. 

Most employers use AE pension schemes that currently require a total minimum of 2% contribution to be paid. The calculation for this type of scheme is based on a specific range of earnings. For the 2017/18 tax year this range is between £5,876 and £45,000 a year (£490 and £3750 a month, or £113 and £866 a week). 

By law a total minimum amount of contributions must be paid into the scheme. You, the employer, must make a minimum contribution towards this amount and your employee members must make up the difference. If you decide to cover the total minimum contribution required, your staff won’t need to pay anything. 

The employee contribution rate may vary depending on the type of tax relief applied by your scheme. If you are unsure check your scheme documents, or speak to your pension provider. 


Food Manufacturers – potential unannounced visit from the HSE

Companies and people working in food manufacturing must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace health risks or face serious penalties, according to a press release by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).  

The HSE has announced 2018’s programme of proactive inspections will review health and safety standards in food manufacturing businesses across the country, and the sector is being warned of a programme of unannounced inspections. 

According to the HSE press release, the inspections will focus on two of the main causes of ill-health in the sector which are currently:

  • occupational asthma from exposure to flour dust in bakeries, cake and biscuit manufacturers and grain mills; and
  • musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – predominantly lower back pain and upper limb disorders from manual handling activities and repetitive tasks across the sector.

The inspection visits come as HSE recently released its Manufacturing sector plan which prioritises the reduction of cases of occupational lung disease and MSDs. 

Exposure to flour dust is the UK’s second most common cited cause of occupational asthma. Whilst MSDs are the most common type of work-related illness in food manufacturing with handling injuries, accounting for around 20% of reported employee injuries (RIDDOR). 

HSE insists that such ill-health can be prevented when organisations have proper risk control systems in place. 

The inspections will ensure measures are being taken by those responsible to protect workers against health risks and HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements. 


The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply from 25th May 2018, when it supersedes EU member state implementations of the 1995 Data Protection Directive (DPD). The UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) will be superseded by a new DPA that enacts the GDPR’s requirements.

The new law (which has yet to reach the statute book) marks a wide-reaching and significant shift in the way that organisations must protect personal data.

It will grant data subjects a number of new rights, for example: the right to judicial remedy against organisations that have infringed their rights, and requires organisations to adopt “appropriate technical and organisational measures” to protect personal data. It will also introduce mandatory data breach reporting.

The GDPR and the enacting Act (when published) will impact upon many facets of your business from website, marketing, through to HR and employment law. Needless-to-say, we shall be focusing on the effect GDPR has on HR and employment law aspect of your business, and we hope to provide more detail in due course.





Employment Law
Health & Safety
Personnel / HR
Food Safety
Food Hygiene
Management Training







Making sense of it all


Sentient - Training


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"capable of perception"

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The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.

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