8 highlights of Employment Law changes coming soon…

Here is our quick information update of the employment law changes you need to be aware of, that come into effect from April 2016:-

  1. National Living Wage goes Live!

A quick reminder about the most advertised government scheme since auto-enrolment hit our screens! From the 1st April, workers aged 25 and over will be entitled to the new National Living Wage rate of £7.20 per hour.

See our previous blog for…

2. Penalties for non-payment of the national minimum wage are increased

The penalty for those employers found to not be paying the national minimum or national living wage doubles from 1st April 2016.

Get further information here…

3. Employer National Insurance Contributions are abolished for apprentices under 25 years of age

This is all part of the Government’s drive to encourage employers to create more apprenticeships for young people, therefore from 6th April 2015 the employers will not pay employer NIC for those apprentices aged 25 and under.

Get further information here…

4. Statutory Family-related pay and Sick Pay rates are frozen

Unlike previous years, there will be no increase to statutory adoption, maternity, paternity or shared parental pay rates in April 2016. Statutory sick pay will also remain at the same rate that has applied since April 2015.

So although this isn’t a change, it might have been something employers were expecting so we thought we’d put it in here.

5. A new state pension scheme is introduced, ending contracting-out

A single-tier state pension is introduced from 6 April 2016, replacing the previous basic state pension and additional state pension.

Employer-provided pension schemes will no longer be able to contract out of the state pension and receive a national insurance rebate. This means that, where an employer provides a previously contracted-out scheme, its employer and employee national insurance contribution liability will increase.

Employers should ensure that employees are aware that there may be an impact on their pay packet and that they understand the reasons for this.

Get further information here…

6. Public-sector employees can be required to repay exit payments

Regulations requiring higher earning public-sector employees to repay exit payments if they re-join the public sector within a year are expected to come into force in April 2016 or soon after.

The duty to repay will include redundancy payments, voluntary exit payments and payments made to reduce an actuarial reduction to a pension on early retirement.

Get further information here…

7. A salary requirement is introduced for tier 2 workers

Employers can sponsor skilled foreign workers to come to the UK to work for them under tier 2 of the immigration points system. A new requirement for a minimum salary of £35,000 will apply from 6 April 2016.

8. Financial penalties can be imposed for non-payment of tribunal awards

Legislation allowing tribunal enforcement officers to impose a financial penalty on an employer that fails to pay a tribunal award or Acas settlement sum is expected to come into force in April 2016.

Research carried out in 2013 showed that less than half of tribunal claimants who had been awarded compensation received the full award from the employer.

The penalty will be 50% of the unpaid award, subject to minimum and maximum amounts and a reduction for prompt payment.

Stop press

New limits on employment tribunal awards and statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 April 2016. The maximum amount of a week’s pay for these purposes increases to £479, and the maximum amount of a compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases to £78,962.

 

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