This April many employment law changes are coming into force. Here is a summary of what employers need to know:
- 1 April
* All rates of the national minimum wage increased.
* The offence of wrongly advertising work as an apprenticeship takes effect. Training providers in England will be banned from using the word ‘apprenticeship’ except to describe a statutory apprenticeship. The offence also covers describing a person who undertakes such a course or training as an apprentice. The maximum penalty is a fine.
- 2 April
Statutory payments for various types of parental leave increased. The prescribed weekly rate of Statutory Maternity, Adoption, Paternity, Shared Parental leave Pay, and Maternity Allowance rises to £140.98 a week.
- 6 April
* The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 came into force and will apply to private and voluntary organisations with 250 or more employees (which is widely defined). Affected employers will be required to publish a gender pay report every year. Organisations can choose when they publish but the first report must be published by 4 April 2018.
* The Apprenticeship Levy came into force. UK employers with an annual pay bill of or over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy at a rate equivalent to 0.5% of their payroll costs. The levy must be paid through PAYE, alongside income tax and NICs. The levy is payable by all relevant employers regardless of whether or not they employ apprentices. Employers will receive an allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment. Employers in England that pay the levy will be able to access funding through a digital service which is expected to open from 1 May 2017.
* Beneficial tax treatment under salary sacrifice schemes will be removed for certain benefits. Pension contributions, pension advice, childcare, Cycle to Work and ultralow emission cars will be exempt and will continue as before. Salary exchanged for intangible benefits, such as flexible working or the buying of additional holiday will also be unaffected. + Limits on compensation for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payments will rise.
* Statutory sick pay will rise to £89.35 a week.
* Various changes to immigration rules will take effect, including the introduction of the new immigration skills charge of £1,000 per year for each migrant worker sponsored under Tier 2 of the points based immigration system.