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Employment law is ever-changing. While businesses continue to deal with the impact of coronavirus, HR professionals should ensure compliance with the raft of new legislation which comes into force this month.

Our useful checklist is here to help with employment law changes in April:

Review IR35 contracts in the private sector

Delayed by a year due to the pandemic, the reform of these off-payroll working rules was actioned as of 6 April. Some rules already apply to all public sector clients, but from this date all public authorities and medium and large-sized private sector clients will be responsible for deciding the employment status of contractors. The private sector includes third sector organisations, such as some charities.

Aimed at reducing tax avoidance for contractors employed via personal service companies, the company engaging the contractor will be required to assess whether IR35 status applies. If so, following Government guidance clients should communicate their determination using a Status Determination Statement (SDS).

Comply with the new National Minimum Wage

From 1 April the National Minimum Wage rose to £8.91 per hour. In addition, the age threshold has been amended to include 23- and 24-year-old workers, whereas previously only those aged 25 or over were eligible. Other rises include hourly rates increasing to £8.36 for those aged 21 and 22, £6.56 for workers aged 18 to 20 and to £4.62 for employees aged 16 and 17.

Refresh your company’s statutory redundancy pay calculations

From 6 April new limits were set on employment statutory redundancy pay. The amount an employer should pay is calculated using the employee’s length of service and age during that service, plus their weekly pay. However, length of service is capped to 20 years and there is also a statutory cap on the weekly wage. The new limits have been put in place to reflect an increase in the cap on a week’s pay, meaning that employers making redundancies must now be subject to the maximum amount of £544 and all calculations should be made on this basis.

Increase sick pay and statutory family-related pay

The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, and parental bereavement pay increased to £151-97 from 4 April. In addition, from 6 April the weekly rate of statutory sick pay increased to £96.35. HR departments should review all policies and documents that mention these rates, such as maternity policies and absence procedures relating to sickness.

Where possible, report your gender pay gap

Employers with over 250 employees or more are usually required to report its gender pay gap by April. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has stated that the enforcement of gender pay gap reporting for the 2020/2021 reporting year has been extended for 6 months, now not beginning until 5 October 2021. Nevertheless, EHRC is encouraging businesses to submit such data ahead of October, where possible, to avoid enforcement action.

If you need advice on any issues surrounding employment law changes, we can help you and your business. Contact our experienced team to arrange a convenient COVID-secure appointment via telephone.

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