Employment Law Update April 2021: 5 Things You Should Know….
Employment Law Solicitor, Emma Spandrzyk, explains some of the Employment Law updates that came into force during April 2021….
April has seen its usual raft of changes in Employment Law. As we progress through the Government’s roadmap and we start to see an increased physical presence in the workplace, it is important not to forget about these changes and the effect that they have on your business.
Here at Timms we like to give back where we can. It has been a tough year for businesses and to help you get to grips with these changes and to ensure that your employment terms and policies remain up to date, we are offering you a free risk assessment.
As part of the risk assessment, we will review your standard employment contract and policies and we will advise you on any key changes that may be required. Contact our Employment Team for your free risk assessment today.
In the meantime, here is our summary of the changes that came in this April along with an up to date position on the furlough rules.
From 6 April 2021, off payroll working has been extended to large and medium sized businesses. For further detail on this our IR35 blog explains more.
In summary, these reforms will see contractors lose the ability to determine their own tax status and places this burden on those who engage them. Large and medium-sized businesses in the private sector that engage independent contractors via an intermediary (usually a personal service company) are now responsible for assessing whether the IR35 rules apply.
Changes To Rates And Limits
The Government announced its annual increase to compensation limits:
A week’s pay, for unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy purposes, increased to £544.
The maximum amount for compensatory awards for unfair dismissal increased to £89,493 (or 52 weeks’ gross actual pay, if lower).
Statutory Maternity, Adoption and Paternity Pay increased to £151.97 per week. The new right to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay will also be paid at the same rate.
Statutory Sick Pay increased to £96.35 per week.
National Minimum Wage
From 1 April 2021, the following minimum rates of pay apply:
- The National Living Wage, which only used to apply to workers age 25 or over, has been extended to 23- and 24-year olds for the first time:
- The National Living Wage for ages 23+ has increased to – £8.91per hour.
- The National Minimum Wage for:
- 21 to 22-year-olds increased to £8.36 per hour
- 18 to 20-year-olds increased to £6.56 per hour
- Under-18s increased to £4.62 per hour
- For apprentices the rate increased to £4.30 per hour.
The furlough scheme is due to remain in place until the end of September 2021. The Governments contribution to wages will remain at 80% for hours not worked up to a cap of £2,500 per month until the end of June 2021. Employers maintain responsibility for any NIC and pension contributions.
Then, the Government contribution will be reduced as follows:
- From July 2021, the government will contribute 70% and employers will have to pay 10% for hours not worked plus NICs and pension contributions.
- In August and September 2021, the Government will pay 60% and employers 20% plus NICs and pension contributions.
We await further announcements on what if any measures will be implemented for October 2021.
Gender Pay Gap Reports (Private and Voluntary Sectors)
Private and voluntary sector employers with at least 250 employees are required to publish information about the differences in pay and bonuses between men and women in their workforce, based on a ‘snapshot’ date of 5 April each year.
The Government announced a suspension of enforcement measures on gender pay gap reporting for 2019/20, in view of the unprecedented pressures on businesses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. You now have until 5 October 2021 to report their 2020/21 figures before enforcement measures are taken but are encouraged to report by the usual reporting deadlines.
If you are concerned about the effect that these changes will have on your business, please contact Emma Spandrzyk in our Employment Team for a free risk assessment on your existing policies and procedures. Emma can be contacted on email@example.com or 01530 551 407.