April is always a busy time: the start of the financial year, the grand national, Easter and the start of the good weather - hopefully ….
For businesses especially, April 2017 marks the usual additional changes employers need to be aware of such as changes to the National Minimum wage and SSP rates. Below is a round up of 5 key changes which all businesses should be aware of:-
1. National Minimum Wage and National Living wage rate changes
On 1st April 2017 (even though we have only recently had an increase in October) both the National Living wage and the National Minimum wage increased.
The National Living wage for those aged 25 and over increased to £7.50 per hour and the National minimum wage for those under 25 increased to:
£7.05 for those aged 21-24
£5.60 for those aged 18-20
£4.05 for those aged 16-17
£3.50 for Apprentices under 19 or in their first year of the apprenticeship.
2. Apprenticeship Levy
Speaking of Apprentices, 6th April 2017 marks the commencement of the new Apprenticeship levy .
In a nutshell, this requires all UK employers that have an annual wage bill of £3 million +, to pay 0.5% of their annual wage bill through their PAYE towards the cost of apprenticeship training.
This only affects the funding for apprentices taken on since 1st May 2017 and those employers who will qualify to pay the levy will receive an allowance to offset against the levy payment.
3. Gender Pay Gap reporting.
There has been a lot in the press about the Gender Pay gap in recent months and this is covered in our AB connect newsletter in slightly more detail.
From 4th April 2017 all businesses with more than 250 employees will have to report to the government a pay snapshot (figuratively taken on the 5th April) of calculations and written statement showing:
The gender pay gap as a mean and median average
The bonus gender pay gap as a mean and median average
Specify how many males and how many females receive a bonus payment
The workforce (split into men and women) divided into 4 groups organised by pay.
4. Salary Sacrifices
Salary sacrifices (where you offset some of your pre tax earnings for things such as cars, childcare etc) have been a useful tool for businesses over the years, but from the 6th April 2017 things are changing.
From the 06th April, only new schemes for: pensions, childcare, equipment provided under the cycle to work scheme and ultra-low emission cars will benefit from the tax and NI relief.
Existing schemes will be protected until April 2018 (or April 2021 for cars, accommodation and school fees).
5. Immigration skills Charge
From 6 April 2017, a charge will be payable by sponsors in respect of each skilled migrant they sponsor (subject to some exemptions and transitional provisions). The charge is £1000 a year for larger sponsors, with a lower rate of £364 for smaller sponsors and charities.
If you have any questions on these changes or you wish to discuss how we can help you or your business with your employment law and HR needs then give Pauline Del Monaco a call on 01254 872272.