Spring 2017 - Key Employment Law Changes
1. The Apprenticeship Levy
This applies to employers with a wage bill of more than £3million and requires them to pay 0.5% of their pay bill to HMRC through their PAYE system from April 2017. The funds will then be used to pay for training apprentices and is intended to ensure that 3million new apprenticeships can be funded in England by 2020.
2. 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 for each worker per year. This sum is reduced to £364 for small employers and charities.
3. National Minimum Wage Increase
As of 1 April 2017, the National Minimum Wage increased from £7.20 to £7.50 for employees over the age of 25. Rates within the other age bands have also seen an increase.
4. Pension Advice Allowance
Employees with defined contribution or hybrid pension schemes will now be able to redeem a tax-free amount of £500 from their scheme in order to fund financial advice.
5. Family Leave Pay and Statutory Sick Pay Increase
The weekly rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increased from £139.58 to £140.98 for pay weeks on 2 April 2017. The weekly rate of statutory sick pay also increased from £88.45 to £89.35 on 6 April 2017.
6. Statutory Redundancy Pay Increase
Employee’s dismissed by reason of redundancy are entitled to receive statutory redundancy pay provided that they have at least two years’ service. The pay for these purposes is capped and this increased from £479 to £489 per week on 6 April 2017.