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What employment law changes will come into effect in April?

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

Statutory family-related pay and statutory sick pay will increase – the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay increases to £151.97. The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £96.35 from 6 April 2021.

Statutory redundancy pay calculations – new limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 April 2021. Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount. This amount is £544 from 6 April 2021.

National minimum wage increases – the national living wage (the highest band of the national minimum wage) increases to £8.91 per hour. In addition, the age threshold for the national living wage is amended so that it applies to 23- and 24-year-old workers from 1 April 2021. Previously, the national living wage was available only to those aged 25 and over.

IR35 contracts in the private sector – reforms to the IR35 rules on off-payroll working in the private sector come into force on 6 April 2021. The rules are aimed at reducing tax avoidance for contractors employed via personal service companies and are likely to have a major impact on the way contractors are hired by businesses. This reform was put into place to ensure that contractors were not utilising intermediaries in order to evade paying the same level of Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions that they would if they were hired directly by the client.

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