Every April, new legislation affecting employment rights and responsibilities is introduced. This year, the development receiving the most attention is the introduction of the national living wage. But are you aware of other important employment law changes on their way?
Workers aged 25 and over will be entitled to the national living wage rate of £7.20 per hour from the first pay reference period beginning on or after 1 April 2016.
The national living wage is a new top rate of the national minimum wage.
Employers should check, in particular, that employees’ pay is not brought below the new rate by salary-sacrifice arrangements.
The penalty for employers found not to have paid the national minimum wage doubles from 1 April 2016. The enforcement regime is the same for non-payment of the national living wage.
A single-tier state pension is introduced from 6 April 2016, replacing the previous basic state pension and additional state pension.
Employer-provided pension schemes will no longer be able to contract out of the state pension and receive a national insurance rebate.
This means that, where an employer provides a previously contracted-out scheme, its employer and employee national insurance contribution liability will increase.
Employers should ensure that employees are aware that there may be an impact on their pay packet and that they understand the reasons for this.
As part of the Government’s drive to encourage employers to create more apprenticeships for young people, from 6 April 2016, employers will not pay employer national insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25.
Regulations requiring higher earning public-sector employees to repay exit payments if they re-join the public sector within a year are expected to come into force in April 2016 or soon after.
The duty to repay will include redundancy payments, voluntary exit payments and payments made to reduce an actuarial reduction to a pension on early retirement.
Legislation allowing tribunal enforcement officers to impose a financial penalty on an employer that fails to pay a tribunal award or Acas settlement sum is expected to come into force in April 2016.
Research carried out in 2013 showed that less than half of tribunal claimants who had been awarded compensation received the full award from the employer.
The penalty will be 50% of the unpaid award, subject to minimum and maximum amounts and a reduction for prompt payment.
Employers can sponsor skilled foreign workers to come to the UK to work for them under tier 2 of the immigration points system. A new requirement for a minimum salary of £35,000 will apply from 6 April 2016.
Our final change for April isn’t actually a change at all, but many employers might be expecting one around statutory rates of pay. Unlike in previous years, there will be no increase to statutory adoption, maternity, paternity or shared parental pay rates in April 2016.
Statutory sick pay will also remain at the same rate that has applied since April 2015.
Story via – http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/employment-law-changes-april-2016/