How Will Budget 2021 Affect Your Business and Your Employees?

By Kimberley Wallace

Senior HR Consultant

Yesterday saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce this year’s budget. We take a brief look at this year’s budget announcements and how it will impact your business and your employees.

Sunak outlined that inflation is set to rise to 4% over the next year, but unemployment is expected to peak at 5.2% in 2022. The UK economy is forecast to return to pre-Covid levels by 2022.


  • National Living Wage – will increase to £9.50 an hour from 1 April 2022 (a 6.6% increase)
  • National Minimum Wage – rates will increase to:
    • Apprentices – £4.30 to £4.81
    • Under 18’s – increase from £4.62 to £4.81
    • Age 18 to 20 – increase from £6.56 to £6.83 per hour
    • Age 21 to 22 – increase from £8.36 an hour to £9.18 an hour
  • Public sector pay freezes – come to an end and an increase in wages for 2.6 million workers including police officers and teachers
  • Universal credit – taper rate is being lowered (to 55% from 65%) to allow workers to keep more of the money they earn.

Business rates / discounts

  • Business rates
    • 50% business rate discount for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in 2022-23 up to a maximum of £110,000
    • Business rate revaluations will be every 3 years from 2023
  • Fuel duty – planned rise in fuel duty to be cancelled
  • National Insurance Contributions – on pay over £9,569 rise from 12% to 13.5%.

Skills development

  • The new UK-wide numeracy programme ‘Multiply’ – which will receive £560m to help improve basic mathematics skills among adults.


  • Confirmation of a new ‘Scale up visa’ – making it easier and quicker for rapidly development businesses to scale up their operations by recruiting workers from overseas
  • Also announced were High Potential Individual and Global Business Mobility visas.

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