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Employment law and HR changes to be aware of in April 2021

View profile for Rianna Billington
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Employment law and HR changes to be aware of in April 2021

From 1 April 2021, Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the National Living Wage (NLW) will rise to £8.91 an hour and will be extended to 23 and 24 year olds for the first time. Previously, the NLW was only available to 25 year olds and above. The other rates are also changing.

For more information, please see: National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates - GOV.UK 


Annually public and private sector employers with at least 250 employees in England, Wales and Scotland on 31 March and 5 April must publish information about the differences in pay and bonuses between their male and female workforce by 30 March and 4 April.

Last year the requirement was abolished and this year the EHRC is allowing a six month grace period. Enforcement action will not be taken provided that reports, regardless of sector, are submitted by 5 October 2021.


Also from 4 April 2021:

  • The weekly rate of maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay increases to £151.97.

From 6 April 2021, medium and large size clients in the private sector will be responsible for deciding the employment status of workers and assessing whether IR35 applies in a change to the off-payroll working rules. It will no longer be the responsibility of the intermediary.

The rules apply to all public sector clients and private sector companies that meet two or more of the following criteria:

  • An annual turnover of £10.2 million
  • A balance sheet total of more than £5.1 million
  • More than 50 employees

This is a requirement that was postponed from 6 April 2020.

For further guidance and to ensure you understand your potential obligations under the changes, see here:

Understanding off-payroll working (IR35) - GOV.UK 


Also from 6 April:

  • The weekly rate of statutory sick pay rises to £96.35
  • The weekly cap on statutory redundancy payments rises to £544
  • The maximum compensation that can be awarded for unfair dismissal rises to £89,493

With the above changes coming into effect shortly, now is a good time to take stock and ensure that you are prepared.

You can find a statutory redundancy pay and basic award calculator here.

If you need advice on ensuring you are ready for any of the above changes, please contact our dedicated Employment team who will be happy to assist.

I can be contacted on 01245 453812 or rianna.billington@birkettlong.co.uk.

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