Editor's message: Salary-sacrifice schemes - whereby employees give up some of their salary in return for non-cash benefits in kind - are popular among both employees and employers, not only because they result in monetary savings for both parties, but because they can also open up a wider range of benefits to employees. However, schemes are not without their drawbacks - there are potential pitfalls that employees should be aware of.
Sheila Attwood, managing editor, pay and HR practice
Updated to reflect the increase to the national minimum wage rates, effective from 1 April 2017.
Updated to reflect the increase to the statutory maternity pay rate from 2 April 2017.
Changes to salary-sacrifice schemes announced in November's Autumn Statement are likely to prove unpopular with employees. James Monks from RAM Group looks at ways employers can mitigate the impact of the changes and still retain staff.
From 6 April, employers will need to make a number of changes to their salary-sacrifice schemes. DLA Piper's Lynda Finan and Nick Hinton consider the new arrangements.
We discuss the key legislative developments affecting employers in 2017, including: gender pay gap reporting; the apprenticeship levy; public-sector exit payments and changes to statutory rates.
We discuss the key legal developments affecting employers from October 2016 and beyond, including: changes to the national minimum wage rates; reforms to employment tribunals; public-sector exit payments and important case decisions to look out for.
In a time of low pay awards, employers can really enhance their reward offering through the benefits package they offer. Our research investigates the use of around 40 different benefits.
In Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Donaldson EAT/0249/15, the EAT held that childcare vouchers under a salary-sacrifice scheme constitute "remuneration", with the result that there is no legal obligation to continue their provision during maternity leave.
Giving employees a choice of benefits, and delivering them in the most cost-efficient manner, are key themes emerging from this year's survey of employers' benefits and allowances packages.
Definition from the XpertHR glossary.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to salary-sacrifice arrangements.