April – Key Employment Law Changes

This week we have a guest blog from Diana at DLC Engage HR – Welcome Diana!

It’s that time of year again, when a number of key employment law changes take place.

National Minimum Wage

With effect 1st April, 2017, the national minimum wage will be increasing.

Aged 25 and over – £7.50 (from £7.20) The National Living Wage
Aged 21 and over – £7.05 (from £6.95)
Aged 18 to 20 – £5.60 (from £5.55)
16 – 17 years old who are not apprentices – £4.05 (from £4.00)
Apprenticeship rate £3.50 (from £3.40)

Sick Pay Rates and Statutory Family Related Pay

Commencing 2nd April, statutory sick pay will increase to £89.35 from £88.45 per week

The weekly rate for statutory maternity, adoption and shared parental pay will increase to £140.98 from £139.58

Statutory Redundancy Pay

With effect from 6th April, if an employee is dismissed for redundancy and has over two years’ service, an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age must be paid. The cap on a statutory weeks pay increases from £479 to £489, and the maximum payment amount will be capped at £14,670

Pensions Advice

From 6th April, members of defined-contribution pension schemes will be able to take a tax free amount of £500 from their scheme to redeem against the expense of taking financial advice.

Salary Sacrifice Schemes

From 6th April, the Government will limit the tax and NI advantages available through a salary sacrifice scheme to the following benefits – contributions to a registered pension scheme, childcare vouchers, ultralow emission cars and cycle to work schemes.  Arrangements already in place will be protected until next April and for cars, accommodation and school fees, until 2021.

Apprenticeship Levy

From 6th April all businesses with a salaries bill of more than £3 million will be liable to pay the Apprenticeship Levy at a rate of 0.5% of payroll (subject to a £15,000 annual allowance).

For employers who do not pay the levy they will be able to access funding for apprenticeships.

For more information see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

The Gender Pay Reporting regulations come into force from 6th April 2017 (31st March for the public sector) for employers with 250 or more employees. The reporting focusses on the differences between male and female pay including bonus payments.  Employers have 12 months to publish the information in the required format on their own website and to upload it to the government’s own Gender Pay Gap Reporting website.

Immigration Skills Charge

With effect from 6 April 2017 it will become more expensive and administratively burdensome to sponsor non-EEA migrants and affects all Tier 2 sponsors. Employers wishing to sponsor non-EEA workers in the UK will have to pay a new Immigration Skills Charge per worker, of £364 for small or charitable employers or £1,000 for large employers (turnover in excess of £10.2m or more than 50 employees)

Additionally, criminal records certificates from the countries they have lived in the last 10 years is likely to be a requirement for certain posts in the education, social care and health sectors.

The tier 2 salary threshold for experienced workers will increase from £25,000 to £30,000 from 6 April 2017.

Tax Free Child Care Scheme

A new tax free Child Care Scheme starts from 28th April, designed to replace Employers’ childcare vouchers.  Parents will be able to open a special account whereby the Government will be pay 20p of every £1 of childcare costs up to £2,000 a year per child (£4,000 if disabled).  I will be writing a blog on this subject very soon…….


If you would like more information, help or support implementing any of the topics covered please do get in contact – info@dlcengagehr.co.uk

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