HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

Employment Law Changes April 2017

April is normally a busy time for HR professionals and small businesses, where historically a number of changes to employment legislation take place. This April is no different, and we felt it appropriate to share some of the key changes that may affect your business over the coming weeks.

 

National minimum wage increases

On 1 April 2017, the rates of the national minimum wage will increase, despite an increase in most rates on 1 October 2016.

This is so that the timing of the annual increase in the national living wage rate for workers aged 25 or over can align with the other national minimum wage rates.

The rate for workers aged 25 and over will increase from £7.20 to £7.50. The rates within the other age bands also increase.  Please see the details below:

April 2017 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
New Rate £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50

 

Statutory family-related pay and sick pay rates increase

The rate of statutory maternity pay (SMP) is rising to £140.98 from April 2017. The increase normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, which in 2017 is 2 April.

Also on 2 April 2017, the rates of statutory paternity pay and statutory shared parental pay will go up from £139.58 to £140.98 (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate).

The rate of statutory adoption pay increases from £139.58 to £140.98.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP will also increase to £89.35 from 6 April 2017. The lower earnings limit will also rise from £112.00 per week to £113.00.

 

Statutory redundancy pay increases

New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 April 2017.

Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age.

The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount. From 6 April 2017, this is £489, increasing from £479.
 

Tax advantages under salary-sacrifice

Benefits-in-kind attracting tax and NIC advantages when they are provided under a salary-sacrifice scheme, are to be limited.

This change is expected to take effect from 6 April 2017, with some exemptions.

Arrangements already in place are protected until April 2018, and until April 2021 for some.

For more information on any of these changes, please contact us and we'll be happy to help.