Skip to main content

Keeping you informed on key employment law changes

There are a number of key employment law changes which we feel is important that you are made aware of.  With so many changes on the way, it is essential for employers to be prepared and HR:4UK can provide you with personalised help and support on these, and all other HR and Employment issues.

National Minimum Wage changes

With effect from 1st October 2016, the National Minimum Wage increases to the following:

  • Workers aged 21 and over - £6.95
  • Workers aged 18-20 - £5.55
  • Workers ages 16-17 - £4.00
  • Apprentices under 19, and in first year of the apprenticeship - £7.20

The National Living Wage for workers aged 25 or over remains at £7.20.

The importance of ensuring that you pay the appropriate statutory rates is key as the penalties for failing to do so, have increased from 100 per cent to 200 per cent of the arrears owed to the workers if the debt is not cleared within 14 days.  Whilst the penalty is capped at £20,000 per worker, HMRC are not shy in “naming and shaming” those companies who do not pay the appropriate rates which could have a detrimental effect on your business’s reputation.

Mandatory Gender pay reporting starts

Another major change announced this year is that companies with 250 or more employees will be obliged to publish information about their gender pay gaps. Organisations will have to publish information about the difference in pay between men and women, including any gaps in bonus payments. The process will commence in April 2017 and it is anticipated that employers will be required to publish their data in April 2018.

As employers will be required to publish their gender pay information in April 2018, we strongly recommend that if you employ more than 250 employees that you have a process in place to start collecting this data.

This can be very time consuming to calculate and the format within which it must be published may be complicated and we would strongly advise you to contact us if you require any assistance.

Modern Slavery

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 came into force on 29th October 2015 and applies to businesses (including corporate bodies and partnerships) which carry on business (or any part of its business) in the UK, supplying goods and service and has an annual turnover of £36 million or more.  If your business meets these requirements, you will be require to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement every financial year.   It may well be that the requirement doesn’t apply to you, however, it may apply to one of your suppliers (either goods or services) in which case, they may ask you to provide them with information on what you are doing to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.

There are guidelines on what is required to be included in the statement and HR:4UK will be able to assist you in putting a statement together.

Apprenticeships

Changes have been introduced which affect the funding of apprentices. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy.  This levy will only apply to employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million each year. This requirements comes into force on 6th April 2017.

The levy would be payable by employers through their payroll at the rate of 0.5% of their total gross pay bill (excluding benefits in kind), with an annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against the levy payment.

There are also more stringent rules on the use of the term “apprenticeship” and employers are now banned from using the term to describe a scheme which is not a statutory apprenticeship.

If you require further information regarding apprenticeships, please contact us.

Termination Payments

The Government has recently consulted on proposals for the simplification of termination payments. Currently if you have a payment in lieu of notice (PILON) in your employment contract you can make such payment tax free up to £30,000.

From April 2018 any PILON payment will be subject to tax and national insurance contributions.

The tax exemption for redundancy payments up to £30,000 will remain in force.

Should you have any queries or require further information, please contact us on 01455 444222 or email support@hr4uk.com