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Employment Law Changes – October 2016

Employment law changes are usually scheduled for either April or October of each year, and this year is no exception. There is only one key changes which is being implemented now: 

National Minimum Wage increases for some ages – from 1 October 2016

For those aged 25 or over, there is no change from the previously updated National Living Wage. For younger workers, the changes are as follows:

• Aged 21 to under 25: increase to £6.95 per hour

• Aged 18 to under 21: increase to £5.55 per hour

• Aged under 18, no longer of compulsory school age: increase to £4.00 per hour

• Apprentice wage increases to £3.40 per hour

In future, all statutory wage minimums will change in April, from 2017.

Other private sector changes to look forward to:

1. Using foreign workers illegally could lead to a shut down

In a bid to get employers to take this seriously the government is considering creating measures to close a firm’s premises for up to 48 hours, with repeated breaches potentially leading to a 12 month close. These are expected soon, but there is no scheduled date.

2. Immigration skills charge with a visa levy in 2017

To encourage employers to look for local workers, organisations that sponsor migrants from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland may face a levy from 2017. 

3. Gender pay gap reporting

Any employers with more than 250 employees will need to publish details of the gender pay and bonus split annually. The annual requirement will be April to April reporting, starting from April 2017, with the first reports due in April 2018. The bonus period for reporting will include the 12 months leading up to April 2017, so it would be prudent for larger employers to start making plans now.

4. Introduction of an apprenticeship levy for large employers

All large employers will pay a levy of 0.5% of their salary bill. The levy will be used to fund apprenticeship training and assessment. It is expected to come into force in April 2017.

Additionally the term ‘apprenticeship’ will be subject to a statutory apprenticeship course, and no other courses or training will be able to use the name. 

Do get in touch if you have any questions about any of these issues, we would be delighted to help!

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