Some important changes are happening this year, some of which we’re sure you’ve already heard about, but in case you haven’t we’ve outlined below 7 UK employment laws that are expected to be implemented this April 2017:
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Reporting) Regulations 2017 will come into force in April 2017. The Regulations require organisations with over 250 employees to publish gender pay gap information to a government website and to their own websites. This means that the gender pay gap will be publicly available, including to customers, employees and potential future recruits. They will also have to report on the amount of male and female employees in different pay quartiles and those who receive bonuses. Employers have 12 months to publish the information so employers in scope need to make sure that they can capture the necessary data.
National Living /Minimum Wage Increases
The National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will increase this April. We’ve outlined the changes below:
- The Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour
- The rate for workers aged 21 to 24 rises to £7.05 per hour
- The development rate (workers aged 18 to 20) rises to £5.60 per hour
- The young workers rate (non-apprentices aged under 18 but above compulsory school age) rises to £4.05 per hour
- The apprenticeship rate rises £3.50 per hour
- The accommodation offset limit rises to £6.40 per day
Furthermore, minimum wage is set to rise to £9 per hour for over 25s by 2020 if the Government follow through on their promise
Immigration Skills Charge
The immigration skills charge is due to come into force on 6 April 2017 which states that employers that sponsor skilled workers under tier 2 of the immigration points-based system will have to pay a levy of £1,000 per certificate of sponsorship per year (£364 for small employers and charities). It is designed to cut down on the number of businesses taking on migrant workers and encourage the training of British staff to fill those jobs.
According to the UK Home Office, the money collected will be utilised by the UK Department of Education to address skills gaps in the UK workforce.
Other changes affecting employers that employ workers under tier 2 are as follows:
- Government is planning to introduce a requirement for those workers coming to the UK under tier 2 for certain posts in the Education, Social Care and Health sectors, to obtain criminal records certificates from the country they have lived in for the last 10 years.
- The tier 2 (general) salary threshold will increase to £30,000 for migrants who are “experienced workers”.
Statutory family-related pay and sick pay rates increase
Increases to family friendly allowances will also take place in April. The changes are as follows:
- The weekly rate of statutory sick pay (SSP) will increase from £88.45 to £89.35
- The weekly rate of statutory maternity pay (SMP) will increase from £139.58 to £140.98
- The weekly rate of statutory paternity pay (SPP) will increase from £139.58 to £140.98
- The weekly rate of statutory shared parental pay (SHPP) will increase from £139.58 to £140.98
- The weekly rate of statutory adoption pay (SAP) will increase from £139.58 to £140.98
Pensions advice allowance is introduced
From April 6 2017 members of defined-contribution and hybrid pension schemes will be able to take a tax-free amount of £500 from their scheme on up to three occasions (only once per tax year) to put towards the cost of pensions and retirement advice.
The value of pension’s advice provided by employers on which there is tax and NIC relief will increase from £150 to £500.
The money will then be given to businesses who will use it to offer apprenticeships and on-the-job training for over 16s, so it might be easier to get paid to learn a new skill this year.
To find out more about how this will work click here.
Redundancy Pay Increase
Employers that dismiss through redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on their weekly pay, length of service and age. From 6 April 2017, this will increase from £479 to £489 and the top award of statutory redundancy pay also increases from £14,370 to £14,670.
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal is also increasing from £78,962 to £80,541.
KPJ Group has been providing staffing solutions since 1974 with an excellent reputation among the engineering and manufacturing industries. If you would like advice or assistance with your vacancies speak to one of consultants on 01457 861511