New Employment Law Changes being implemented in April
During April 2021, the UK Government will introduce several changes to employment law that UK employers should take note of.
Below are some of the key changes to be aware of:
- 1st April – Changes to National Minimum Wage
The government have announced annual increases to national minimum wage rates effective as of 1st April 2021. Taking the minimum salary of those aged 23 and over to £8.91 per hour (up 2.2% from £8.72).
Age 21 to 22: GBP 8.36 (up 2% from GBP 8.20)
Age 18 to 20: GBP 6.56 (up 1.7% from GBP 6.45)
Age 16 to 17: GBP 4.62 (up 1.5% from GBP 4.55)
Apprentice rate: GBP 4.30 (up 3.6% from GBP 4.15)
- 4th April – Statutory Sick Pay
As of 4th April 2021, statutory sick pay will be increased from £95.85 to £96.35 per week.
This includes if you are off work because of COVID-19.
The same also applies if you are:
- Self-isolating because you or someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive (you must self-isolate for a period of 4 days to be eligible for SSP).
- If you’re self-isolating because of contact with someone with coronavirus.
- If you’re self-isolating because someone in your ‘support bubble’ or extended household has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus.
- If you’re self-isolating before surgery.
Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, and shared parental pay will also be increased from £151.20 to £151.97 per week.
- 4th April – Gender Pay Gap Reports
Since 6th April 2017 public, private, and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales, and Scotland that have at least 250 employees have been required to publish (annual) information about the differences in pay and bonuses between men and women in their workforce.
These figures must be published on your website and on a government site.
Ordinarily, public sector organisations are required to publish on or before 30th March, and private sector employers on or before 4th April each year. However, due to the pandemic, the requirements to publish for the 2020/2021 reporting year have been put back until 5th October 2021.
- 6th April – Employment Tribunals
From 6th April 2021, there will be an increase in tribunal awards. In cases involving dismissal, the new rates set out by government will apply where the date of termination falls on or after 6th April 2021.
- Limit on amount of compensatory award for unfair dismissal: to rise from £88,519 to £89,493.
- 6th April – IR35
New IR35 rules have been put in place for the private sector. The new rules impact how contractors who are engaged through personal service companies are taxed. It is from 6th April that large and medium-sized private companies will be required to follow the IR35 rules.
- 6th April – Post Employment Notice Pay
From 6th April, changes to PENP calculations will be introduced to avoid unfair outcomes. This will apply to individuals whose employment was terminated, and their termination payment is received on or after April 6th.
The change to the PENP calculation will see an employee’s pay period defined in months, but their notice period or PENP defined in weeks. This will be a requirement for employers to use from April 2021.
Specialist employment legal advice
If you have any questions about the new changes to employment law or any other employment or HR issue, please contact our team of expert employment solicitors. Call 0117 906 9400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org