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The start of April sees a series of changes to employment law, including an increase in the national living wage and new apprenticeship funding.
We’ve summarised the legislative changes that will affect the owners of small businesses below. Let us know if the changes have affected your business in the comments.
From 1 April, the national living wage increased from £7.20 to £7.50 for those that are 25 and over.
The new rates for the other wage brackets are as follows.
25 and over
21 to 24
18 to 20
The full government guidance on the subject can be found here.
Lindsey Knowles, employment law specialist at law firm Kirwans, was kind enough to summarise the changes to statutory sick pay and redundancy, and tribunal proceedings:
In each case, the link will take you through to the government guidance on the subject.
Legislation that comes into force on 6 April means that you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge when you sponsor a worker from outside the European Economic Area.
The skills charge will be £1,000 per year for medium or large sponsors, and £364 per year for small businesses (defined as an annual turnover less than £10.2 million and fewer than 50 employees) or charitable sponsors. The fee is payable upfront and for the total period of time covered by the sponsorship.
The full impact of the Immigration Act 2016 is explained here.
If you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3m per year you will have to pay the apprenticeship levy from 6 April 2017.
Employers who don’t pay the levy will be able to share the cost of training and assessing their apprentices with the government (what they’re calling “co-investment”). This means that from May 2017 you will pay 10% towards to the cost of apprenticeship training and government will pay the rest (90%) as long as it does not exceed the maximum funding band for your industry.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. From April 2017, employers have to pay:
The £140.98 benchmark is a marginal increase of 1% on the previous level. Read the full government guidance here.