Summary of HR Changes from 6th of April

Summary of HR Changes from 6th of April

03 April 2017

As with most years, this April sees several changes coming into effect that employers and HR departments need to be aware of and perhaps put the necessary processes in place. There’s no doubt that the most significant new legislation for businesses is the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, one that will certainly put pressure on employers to maintain clear records and make that information available online.

Summary of HR Changes from 6th of April

Here are the major changes that will impact HR services from April 2017:

  1. Gender Pay Gap Reporting

All sectors who employ over 250 staff will need to publish details regarding the payment of staff and their bonuses, with particular attention to comparing pay between male and female workers. The key date for those in the private and voluntary sector is April 5th where companies must provide a snap shot of their pay data. For the public sector this is 31st March. Guidance can be found on the Government website.

  1. Immigration Skills Charge

A levy on tier 2 workers who come through the immigration points system will be introduced on 6th April. This will be £1,000 per certificate of sponsorship per year. For certain employment types, such as teachers and health workers, the Government also stipulates that criminal records need to be obtained for the country the individual is moving from.

  1. National Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage across all bands increases with effect from April, with that for 25’s and over rising from £7.20 to £7.50. The full rate changes across all age groupings can be found on the Government website.

  1. The Apprenticeship Levy

Another major change is the introduction of the apprenticeship levy. It effects companies who have a pay bill of over £3 million and the levy will be deducted using PAYE. Employers who need to pay the levy will have access to the new funding that will come into place on 1st May. The funding is also available for other companies and the emphasis is on helping to grow the number of apprenticeships available across a range of industries and sectors.

  1. Increase in Statutory Sick Pay and Family Related Pay

Family related pay such as paternity, maternity and adoption leave will increase from 2nd April to £140.98 and statutory sick pay goes up to £89.35.

  1. Restrictions to Salary Sacrifice Schemes

Limits are to be introduced concerning those benefits in kind or BiKs which can provide tax or national insurance contribution advantages to certain employees. There are some areas that are exempt from the restrictions such as pensions, childcare vouchers and cycle to work schemes. The key for the Government is to cover the tax benefits that some people are getting. The problem for HR departments will be reviewing the current contracts they have with staff and how to provide benefits packages that attract high performers but meet the current regulation changes.

  1. Pension Advice Allowance

This is due to be introduced on 6th April and allows anyone with a defined contribution or hybrid scheme to benefit from taking a tax-free amount of £500 for redemption against financial advice.

If you are unsure about any of the key points above or are an employer wanting to make sure you are complying with current legislation, Solved hr are here to take the confusion out of it for you! Give us a call on 07714 790024 or email and we will be happy to help.