HR 20 March 2017

Seven important employment law changes taking place this April

April 2017 will see wide-reaching changes in UK employment law
Next month marks the busiest time of year, where major employment law changes will take effect. Here, HR director at law firm Peninsula, Alan Price, outlines the seven employment law changes employers need to be aware of this April.

(1) Gender pay gap reporting

A new law introduced on 6 April 2017 will require private sector employers (all be it those with 250 or more employees) to report on their gender pay gap each year. Employers are required to take a snapshot of their pay data on the 5april this year, and report on specific calculations by the 4april 2018.

The report needs to be published on the company’s website and be uploaded to a government website.’similar provisions are being introduced for public sector employers, with a snapshot date of the 31march every year.

(2) Apprenticeship levy

From the 6april, large employers with an annual payroll bill of more than 3m are required to pay the new apprenticeship levy set at a value of 0.5 per cent of the value of the total pay bill, with a 15, 000 allowance from the government to offset against the payment.

The levy will be paid in to a digital apprenticeship account monthly with employers having two years to spend the money on apprentice training.

(3) Increases to minimum pay

On the 1 April, the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase from 7.20 to 7.50 per hour for workers aged 25 and over. All other National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will also increase from the same date, to 7.05 per hour for 21-24 year olds and 5.60 per hour for 18-20 year olds. The rate for those over compulsory school age but under the age of 18 will be 4.05 per hour, and 3.50 per hour for those on an apprentice’s rate.

(4) Increases to statutory payments

The weekly amount of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay will increase for the first time in two years on 2 April 2017, from 139.58 to 140.98.

In addition, the rate of statutory sick pay will increase from 88.45 to 89.35 per week from 6april. The amount an employee must earn to receive the statutory payments will also increase, from 112 to 113 per week.

(5) Tribunal compensation limits?

Employers who are being taken to tribunal from April onwards will see their compensation awards increase, as new limits come in to force on 6 April. From this date, the maximum amount of a week’s pay employers will have to provide will increase, from 479 to 489, and the maximum basic award for unfair dismissal will increase to 14, 670.

The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will also increase from 78, 962 to 80, 541. This means that the total basic and compensatory award for unfair dismissal has now gone over 95, 000 for the first time.


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