Key Employment law changes to look out for in April 2017

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April is a busy time for HR Revolution and business owners alike. Not only are we required to tie up any loose ends from the previous financial year… We also need to make sure that we’re fully prepared for legislative changes that could impact on our and our client’s businesses.

This is a time when new rules come into force, so there’s no space right now for burying your head in the sand. You need to be prepared, and you need to take action.

Here’s what you need to know:

National wage is set to increase

On 1st April, the national minimum wage will increase from £6.95 to £7.05  For workers aged 25 and over, the national living wage rate will increase from £7.20 to £7.50.

As the rate varies according to age group, now is a great time to make sure that you’re compliant, and that payroll processes are in order.

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Statutory redundancy pay will rise

New rules around redundancy pay will be rolled out from 6th April. If you have to make employees redundant, then you must pay those with two years’ service a sum based on their length of service, weekly pay, and age.

The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount, and this will rise from £479 to £489.

Statutory maternity pay will rise

Statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay will rise from £139.58 to £140.98 on 2nd April.

Statutory sick pay will rise

The rate of statutory sick pay is also increasing from £88.45 to £89.35. This increase is expected to occur on 6 April 2017.

To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit.

The lower earnings limit is increasing from £112 to £113 in April 2017.  This is the first rise since the rates were frozen in April 2015.

Gender pay gap reporting comes into force

If you employ 250 or more employees, then this applies to you. You will be required to report on your gender pay gap, including any bonuses that you might use to reward your staff.

You’ll have a period of 12 months to publish this information on your own website, and upload the details to a government website. As such, you need to make sure that you have mechanisms in place to collect the necessary facts and figures.

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Immigration skills charge will be introduced

Do you sponsor skilled workers under tier 2 of the immigration points-based system? If so, you will be required to pay a sponsorship levy of £1,000 per year for each certificate of sponsorship – or £364 if you’re a smaller business or charity.

There are certain exemptions that apply, so if your business hires skilled immigrants, it pays to seek out tailored advice.

Depending on the size of your business and other factors that may be at play, there are further changes that you need to be aware of. April is a fantastic time to carry out an audit of your policies and procedures, to make sure that you’re fulfilling your legal responsibilities.

With that in mind, pick up the phone and get in touch +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk. We can arrange to have a discussion around the changes that you may need to implement in coming weeks, so you can move into the new financial year with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything is under control.

 

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