Upcoming employment law updates for April 2021
Aside from the current COVID-19 pandemic and related employment law issues that this continues to bring and Brexit (which on 1 January 2021, had no effect on employment law, and the Government’s current position is that they have no intention of lowering any standards on worker’s rights), there are some other upcoming changes in employment legislation for 2021.
- National Minimum Wage April increase in rates
From April 2021, the new rates will be:
Aged 23 or over: £8.91
Aged 21 to 22: £8.36.
Aged 18 to 20: £6.56.
Aged 16 to 17: £4.62.
Apprentice rate: £4.30.
Employers should also note that as well as the increase in rates, the age bands have been altered, the National Living Wage is now payable to 23 and 24 year olds, rather than those aged 25 and over.
It is important that employers pay these rates as any failure to do so could mean that they face employment tribunal claims from workers, as well as legal enforcement action, penalties, and being named and shamed by the HMRC.
- Increase in statutory family friendly pay rates for April 2021
From April 2021, there is an increase to statutory payments as follows:
Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay: £151.97
Statutory sick pay weekly rate: £96.35
- Gender Pay Gap Reporting
The gender pay gap reporting requirement for employers was suspended for 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is currently still due for 2021.
Companies which have more than 250 employees will be required to report their 2020 gender pay gap data by the 4 April 2021.
There are some allowances for employees who were on furlough for the date required to be reported on (being the snapshot date of 5 April 2020) the government have provided guidance on what should be reported, The gender pay gap data you must gather - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
- IR35 taxation
Employers who receive services from individuals through an intermediary company need to ensure that they are ready to implement the changes being made through the Finance Bill 2020, due to take place this year on 6 April 2021, after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Failure to do so could result in the employer being liable to pay the unpaid tax.
The Government guidance can be found here, Understanding off-payroll working (IR35) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
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