Key Employment Law Changes, April 2017
April is a fairly busy time for HR professionals and business owners alike. Not only are you required to tie up any loose ends from the previous financial year, you also need to make sure that you're fully prepared for legislative changes that could impact your business. 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 minimum wage is set to increase
On 1st April, the national minimum wage will increase. For workers aged 25 and over, the 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.
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 maximum cap will rise from £479 to £489. No business owner wants to think that they may have to face this situation, but it pays to be prepared and know your responsibilities.
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.
The 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 or get in touch. 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.