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Employment law changes April 2016
This year, the development receiving the most attention is the introduction of the national living wage. But are you aware of other important employment law changes on their way?
1. The national living wage is introduced
Workers aged 25 and over will be entitled to the national living wage rate of £7.20 per hour from the first pay reference period beginning on or after 1 April 2016.
2. Penalties for non-payment of the national minimum wage are increased
The penalty for employers found not to have paid the national minimum wage doubles from 1 April 2016. The enforcement regime is the same for non-payment of the national living wage.
3. A new state pension scheme is introduced, ending contracting-out
A single-tier state pension is introduced from 6 April 2016, replacing the previous basic state pension and additional state pension.
4. Employer NICs are abolished for apprentices under age 25
As part of the Government’s drive to encourage employers to create more apprenticeships for young people, from 6 April 2016, employers will not pay employer national insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25.
5. Public-sector employees can be required to repay exit payments
Regulations requiring higher earning public-sector employees to repay exit payments if they re-join the public sector within a year are expected to come into force in April 2016 or soon after.
6. Financial penalties can be imposed for non-payment of tribunal awards
Legislation allowing tribunal enforcement officers to impose a financial penalty on an employer that fails to pay a tribunal award or Acas settlement sum is expected to come into force in April 2016.
7. A salary requirement is introduced for tier 2 workers
Employers can sponsor skilled foreign workers to come to the UK to work for them under tier 2 of the immigration points system. A new requirement for a minimum salary of £35,000 will apply from 6 April 2016.
8. Statutory family-related pay and sick pay rates are frozen
Our final change for April isn’t actually a change at all, but many employers might be expecting one around statutory rates of pay. Unlike in previous years, there will be no increase to statutory adoption, maternity, paternity or shared parental pay rates in April 2016.