With new employment legislation due to come into force from this month, there are a number of key changes that will affect all employers.
DTM Legal outlines what the significant developments will mean for employers.
National Minimum Wage
From the 1st April 2017, the national minimum wage will increase, despite an increase in most rates on 1 October 2016.
The timing of the annual increase in the national living wage rate for workers aged 25 or over will align with the other national minimum wage rates.
The national living wage for workers aged 25 and over increases from £7.20 to £7.50. The rates within other age bands increase as follows:
- £7.05 per hour – 21-24 yrs old
- £5.60 per hour – 18-20 yrs old
- £4.05 per hour – 16-17 yrs old
- £3.50 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship
Statutory family-related pay rates
On the 2nd April 2017, the rates of statutory paternity pay, statutory maternity pay and statutory shared parental pay will to go up from £139.58 to £140.98 per week (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate).
Statutory adoption pay also increases from £139.58 to £140.98.
From April 2nd 2017, statutory adoption pay will be payable at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, with the remainder of the adoption pay period at the rate of £140.98, or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than £140.98.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Every year, employers with 250 employees or more will have to report data about their gender pay gap, including bonus payments.
The proportion of male and female employees in different pay quartiles and those who receive bonuses will also need to be reported.
Employers in the private and voluntary sector must base their pay data on staff employed on a ‘snapshot’ on the 5th April each year, starting from April 2017. Organisations in the public sector must use the 31st March as their snapshot date.
Bonus payments must be based on the preceding 12-month period.
Employers have 12 months to publish the information on their own website and to upload it to a Government website.
The apprenticeship levy to fund apprenticeship training is due to come into effect on the 6th April 2017. Employers operating in the UK with a pay bill in excess of £3 million per annum will be asked to make contributions based on 0.5% of their annual pay bill.
Employers in England that pay the levy will be able to access funding through a digital service.
Employers that do not pay the levy will also be able to access funding for apprenticeships.
Although the levy applies to employers across the UK, different arrangements exist around how apprenticeship funding will work will apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Immigration Skills Charge
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.
Small employers and charities will have to pay £364 per certificate of sponsorship per year.
The charge is due to come into force on the 6th April 2017.
Statutory Redundancy Pay Increases
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay comes into force on the 6th April 2017.
Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age.
The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount. From the 6th April, this is £489 increasing from £479.
The 2017 legislation changes will require compliance reviews to take place within most organisations.