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Employment Law & HR News & Updates.

Employment Law Updates

The latest employment law news & updates from Kalra Legal Group
4 minutes reading time (812 words)

April 2017 – Employment Law Changes

April 2017 – Employment Law Changes


Its April 2017! The month where HR professionals get busy. Like every year, there are a number of key changes affecting all employers, regardless of their size. The changes are as follows:

  • 1. Gender pay gap rules

Employers with 250 employees or more are now required to publish data on their website as well as a government site every years illustrating the pay gap between male and female employees, including bonus payments. For example, the report must show, that on average men earn X% more pay per hour than women, that men earn X% more in bonuses per year than women, or that the lowest paid quarter of the workforce is mostly female. Bonus information must be based on the preceding 12-month period; therefore, employers will have up to 12 months to publish their gender pay gaps.

  • 2. Apprenticeship levy

The apprenticeship levy is a levy on employers to fund the costs of apprenticeship training and assessment. The levy is set at 0.5% of an employer’s paybill and is required to paid on monthly basis via PAYE. Each employer will have an annual allowance of £15,000, which will offset against the levy; effectively this means the levy will apply to employers with a pay bill over £3 million each year.

  • 3. Immigration skills charge

Employers who recruit skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area under tier 2 of the immigration points-based system are required to pay a flat rate levy of £1,000 per certificate of sponsorship per year; and £364 for small employers and charities.

Additionally, the tier 2 (general) salary threshold has increased to £30,000 for migrants who are “experienced workers”.

  • 4. Reformed IR35

The intermediary rules apply where an individual supplies his or her services to a client via an intermediary, such as one-person limited companies or personal service companies so company rules can apply instead to employment rules for HMRC/ tax purposes. However, now the public authorities in capacity of being a client will have the responsibility for establishing whether the intermediary rules apply and, if they do, the tax and NIC deductions will be made.

  • 5. Salary-sacrifice arrangements - limited

Employer who provide employee benefits-in- kind through a "salary sacrifice" schemes are now limited. Employees swapping salary for benefits will be required to pay the same tax as individuals who buy them out of their post-tax income, in order to promote fairness in the tax system. The new rules will no longer offer tax and NIC benefits for the following:

  • Cash and non-cash vouchers
  • Living accommodation
  • School fees
  • Cars (excluding ultra-low emission cars) and fuel
  • Vans and fuel
  • Beneficial loans.

However, benefits such as: pension contributions and arrangements (pension advice), Childcare vouchers, Workplace nurseries, Cycle to Work schemes and Ultra-low emission cars with CO2 emissions of up to 75 g/km, will remain in place unaffected.

  • 6. Increased National Minimum Wage

Despite the recent increase in October 2016, the national minimum wage has increased from £7.20 to £7.50 so that the timing of the annual increase in the national living wage rate for workers aged 25 or over can align with the other national minimum wage rates.

Current rates


25 and over

21 to 24

18 to 20

Under 18


April 2017






The London Living Wage is currently £9.75 per hour., which covers all boroughs in Greater London. The UK Living Wage for outside of London is currently £8.45 per hour.

  • 7. Pension Advice Allowance

The introduction of Pensions Advice Allowance allows consumers to be able to take a tax-free amount of £500 from their pension pot at any age to redeem against the cost of pensions and retirement advice. The essence of this allowance is to make advice more affordable, and to encourage consumers to consider taking advice in order to plan for their retirement.

  • 8. Increased Statutory Sick Pay and Family-related Pay

The weekly rate of statutory sick pay has increased from £88.45 to £89.35. The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay has increases from £139.58 to £140.98.

  • 9. New compensation award limits

From 6th April 2017, the compensation limits and minimum awards that are payable under employment legislation have increased as follows:

  • the limit on compensation for unfair dismissal claims has increased from £78,962 to £80,541.
  • the limit on a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating, statutory redundancy payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal, has increased from £479.00 to £489.00
  • guarantee pay during lay off or short-time working will increase from £26.00 to £27.00 per daya
  • the minimum basic award will increase from £5,853 to £5,970 in cases where a dismissal is unfair by virtue of health and safety, employee representative, trade union, or performing functions as a trustee to the occupational pension scheme.

If you require any HR assistance, why not give us a call on 0330 221 0684 or email info@klglaw.co.uk

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