Budget 2021: Key Employment Law Announcements

By Gary Smith


The detail of the government’s budget has now been announced and it was generally fairly quiet in respect of employment law, in stark contrast with last year!

The key areas of change are;

Skills and Apprenticeships

The government had previously announced a package of £500million for the expansion of it’s Plan for Jobs initiative aimed at supporting workers;

  1. leaving the furlough scheme
  2. aged over 50 and unemployed
  3. the lowest paid
  4. young people.

The government will continue to meet 95% of the apprenticeship training cost for employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy and will create an enhanced recruitment service by May 2022 for SMEs to help them hire apprentices. They will also introduce a return on investment tool in October 2022 to help employers see the benefits apprentices create to their business. The £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive will be extended until January 2022 and the government has announced investment in the Sector Based Work Academy Programme to help unemployed people retrain.

National Minimum Wage

The new rates to apply from 1 April 2022 are;

  • NLW for those over 23: from £8.91 to £9.50
  • NMW for those aged 21 to 22: from £8.36 to £9.18
  • NMW for those aged 18 to 20: from £6.56 to £6.83
  • NMW for those aged under 18: from £4.62 to £4.81
  • Apprentice Rate: from £4.30 to £4.81
  • Accommodation offset rate: from £8.36 to £8.70.

With regard to COVID-19 the government is continuing to monitor case level data closely but is continuing with it’s current guidance for the time being and is not requiring a return to home working at present. They continue however to leave all options on the table and employers should not therefore be dismantling their working from home infrastructure just yet.

If you have any queries relating to any of these matters please contact our expert team of employment lawyers on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.