Posted by Malcolm Gregory, Partner
Attention HR professionals: it’s all change
April is an important time of the year for HR professionals. New legislation and ACAS guidance notes affecting employment law have been introduced. We’ve put together a quick round up of some of the key things you should know.
National living wage and the national minimum wage penalties
Workers aged 25 and over are now entitled to be paid the national living wage of £7.20 p/h. The penalty for employers who have not paid the national minimum wage or national living wage has also doubled.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has released guidance on calculating the national minimum wage and the national living wage. Click here for info: Calculating the Minimum Wage.
New state pension scheme is introduced
A single-tier pension is introduced today (6 April) replacing the basic state pension and the additional state pension. Employer-provided pension schemes are no longer able to contract out of the state pension and receive a national insurance rebate. If you provided a contracted-out scheme, employer and employee national insurance liability is likely to increase. Employees should be told whether their pension will be affected and employment contracts should be amended to remove the reference to “contracting out” from the pension clause.
Statutory family and sick pay rates freeze
Employers may be expecting a change to statutory rates of pay, but unlike previous years there will be no increase this year to statutory sick pay (£88.45 p/w), or maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave pay rates (£139.58 p/w).
Increase in tribunal compensation limits
The annual increases in compensation payments applying to dismissals (or detriments etc.) occurring on or after 6 April 2016 are changing:
- a week’s pay will be capped at £479 (it’s currently £475)
- the maximum compensatory award in an unfair dismissal claim will be a year’s gross pay or £78,962, whichever is lower (it’s currently £78,335)
New ACAS guides
ACAS has produced three new best practice guides on:
- Sex Discrimination: sex discrimination guide
- Employing younger workers: employing younger workers guide
- Workplace representation: workplace representation e-learning
If you have questions or concerns about any of these changes, or any other employment law or HR matter, please get in touch with us.
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