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Changes for HR and Employers For The New Financial Year

Changes for HR and Employers For The New Financial Year
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by
Managing Director

The new financial year is on the horizon and things are looking up for the economy and for businesses generally. During the Budget, the Chancellor announced some new measures that should help the UK bounce back from the pandemic robustly and sustainably, and it looks as though everything done so far means we're starting from a better position than was originally predicted. 

It has been a busy start to March with plenty of changes announced by the Chancellor during his budget, plus the new financial year on the horizon and the changes that too will bring. Having discussed many of these during our Weekly Employer’s HR Conference Call and with our Associate HR Consultant, Kimberly Bradshaw during HR in 10, I thought it would be a good idea to put a summary in writing as a potential ‘cheat sheet’ for all those with HR responsibilities.

Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)

The Furlough Scheme has been extended until the end of September. Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their salary for the hours not worked. Employer’s contributions will rise to 10% from July and 20% for August and September. This is in addition to pensions and NI contributions employers are already making.

The National Living Wage

This is increasing from £8.72 per hour to £8.91 per hour. Significantly, this rate will now apply to all workers aged 23 or over, whereas until now, it has been applicable to those aged 25 or over.

The National Minimum Wage for 21-22-year-olds is rising to £8.36, for 18-20 age group to £6.56 and for under 18s, it’s rising to £4.62

Apprentices and Trainees

The Apprenticeship Wage is rising to £4.30.

In addition, to encourage businesses to hire new apprentices, the government is doubling incentive payments to £3000 per apprentice regardless of age. For trainees, the government is offering a £1000 payment incentive for work placements started and completed between 1st September 2020 and 31st July 2021. Employers can take a maximum of ten trainees.

Statutory Payments

All Statutory payments are increasing from the 6th of April 2021. For Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), the new rate will be £96.35 per week.

For other Statutory payments where the standard amount against which the 90% of salary average is measured is increased to £151.97 per week. Payments affected are:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
  • Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
  • Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
  • Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)
  • Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

Redundancy

From 6th April, changes too, to Redundancy payments where limits have been increased. It remains, all employees with at least two years’ continuous service are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment. The new limit of a "week’s pay" will rise from £538 to £544. 

In other relevant news, it is worth noting the IR35 deadline is looming and all companies employing more than 250 staff will have to submit their Gender Pay Gap Report by the 4th of April.

There have been changes to the immigration system to make it easier for employers to attract the brightest talent from overseas to fill crucial roles, particularly those in academia, science, research, and technology, around the UK. By March 2022, there should be in place an elite points-based visa with a ‘fast-track’ option for those with a job offer. A reform of the Innovator visa will make it easier for those with the skills and experience that would enable them to start a new business to do so in the UK. They will also be launching a Global Business Mobility visa to enable overseas businesses to establish a presence in the UK or to transfer staff here. These measures should all bring a welcome boost to the economy and mitigate the impact of the exodus of businesses following Brexit.

And Finally

The economic forecast is also looking not as dire as was originally predicted. The Office for Budget Responsibility first predicted unemployment would peak at 11.9%, equal to the rate in 1984 which, in turn, was the highest rate since 1971. The impact of the Furlough Scheme has shifted that revision downwards, so, now, unemployment is running at 5.1% and expected to peak at 6.5%. Considering unemployment hit around 8% during the economic crash of 2008-2009, I would say the Furlough Scheme has done its job!

I hope you found this informative and helpful. If you would like to get these types of updates more regularly, why not join me as I host the Weekly Employer’s HR Conference Call, each Wednesday morning at 11am for one hour. It is completely free and is an excellent forum for airing concerns, discussing events and finding solutions from other business owners and those with responsibility for HR. Email hastings@aslgroup.co.uk for your link. Additionally, each Thursday at 10am, Kimberly Bradshaw and myself present HR in 10, a ten-minute run-down of the weeks most important events happening in HR. HR in 10 airs live on YouTube and the recording is there to watch afterwards should you miss it.

ASL Recruitment was established in 1999 and has been serving Hastings and the surrounding area ever since placing temporary and permanent roles across a variety of sectors including Industrial and Manufacturing, Legal, Finance, Marketing, Technology and Office Support, from junior up to board level. Our co-founder and Managing Director, Jason Perry is an HR specialist and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. For further information on our recruitment or consultancy services, email  hastings@aslgroup.co.uk or call us on 01424 452999.