New Law 2018 06

This April is looking to be interesting, with a number of different law changes coming into effect in Britain. Here’s how you may be affected.

1) Energy Performance Ratings for Landlords

Energy Performance Ratings for Landlords
Good news for renters! The government is making it unlawful to rent a private property that doesn’t meet the minimum energy performance ‘E’ rating. Any private landlords that fail to meet this standard will receive a civil penalty of £4,000. This should make it cheaper for many tenants to heat their homes, as landlords will have to make heating improvements to the home, such as installing or upgrading insulation.

When does it come into effect? 1 April 2018

2) Car Tax Rates

Car Tax Rates
Any car registered from 1st April 2017 is taxed based on CO2 emissions from the time it was registered for first-year road tax. Second-year rates (and each year subsequently) have a flat rate depending on your vehicle:

  • Petrol or diesel – £140 a year
  • Hybrids & alternative fuel – £130 a year
  • Zero CO2 emissions – £0 a year

Cars valued over £40,000 will pay an additional £310 for five years. This means that electric cars under £40,000 are exempt from having to pay car tax! Bad news, however, for diesel car owners…

When does it come into effect? 1 April 2018

3) National Pay Rise

National Pay Rise
Each year, the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage rates see an increase. 2018 is no different! Let’s compare…

  • 25 and over:
    • April 2017: £7.50
    • April 2018: £7.83
  • 21 to 24:
    • April 2017: £7.05
    • April 2018: £7.38
  • 18 to 20:
    • April 2017: £5.60
    • April 2018: £5.90
  • Under 18:
    • April 2017: £4.05
    • April 2018: £4.20
  • Apprentice:
    • April 2017: £3.50
    • April 2018: £3.70

When does it come into effect? 1 April 2018

4) Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Gender Pay Gap Reporting
All British companies and organisations with more than 250 employees will have to publish the median hourly pay rate difference between male and female employees. Many businesses have already gotten ahead of the deadline, but enforcement will begin on 9th April and non-compliance could lead in legal action.

When does it come into effect? 4 April 2018

5) Universal Credit

Universal Credit
2018 sees new benefit cuts as Universal Credit will be replacing work-related benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance. It will be merging six “legacy benefits” into a single Universal Credit benefit that is paid monthly for the supposed purpose of simplification. The ongoing controversy lies with the fact that many claimants will now be worse off as a result of the cuts.

When does it come into effect? 9 April 2018

6) Termination Payments

Termination Payments
Termination payments and benefits will be chargeable to income tax if they are received on or after (with termination also on or after) 6th April 2018. Employers will be liable to pay NICs (National Insurance Contributions) on any part of a payment that exceeds the £30,000 threshold.

When does it come into effect? 6 April 2018

7) Employment Allowance

Employment Allowance
If any employer has been penalised by Home Office for hiring an illegal worker, then they will be unable to claim Employment Allowance for one year. To protect their company, employers should always ensure that all new employees have the legal right to work in the UK.

When does it come into effect? 9 April 2018

8) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Although the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018, many businesses who operate online in some form or another are taking a serious look into it in April as for some it can be a lengthy process. GDPR affects different businesses in different ways, so employers will have to assess their own particular circumstance. If you offer goods or services to EU residents and are found to be non-compliant then you may risk penalty of up to 4% of your global turnover for the previous year or €20 million (whichever is higher).

When does it come into effect? 25 May 2018

9) Adult Content Online


All adult websites based in the UK will be required to conduct age verification checks by ID, as currently standard with many gambling or finance-related websites. Websites may ask users for proof of identification, such as a driving licence or passport scan, or their credit card details. Non-compliance can lead to fines of up to £250,000 for the website.

When does it come into effect? 1 April 2018

10) Drone Safety Awareness Test

Drone Safety Awareness Test
If you have a drone that weighs more than 250g, you will be required to take a drone safety awareness test under the new legislation. Drones that weigh more than 250g could also be banned from flying above 400ft or nearby airports. Since the rise in popularity with consumer hobbyist drones, the number of incidents has risen with it, and the new regulations seek to combat unsafe flying. There are quite a few drone usage laws already in existence, that those who use drones, quadcopters and UAVs professionally are often already aware of, but many newfound hobbyists are ignorant to. As of April 2018, the laws are much stricter.

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