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Employment Law Changes 2016: Are you ready?

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April 2016 sees a number of changes to employment law.  Employment Law Solicitor, Ewan Carr summarises these changes:

National Living Wage

The well publicised National Living Wage will come into force on 1 April 2016.  See a full summary of what this will entail by clicking here.  Workers 25 and over will be entitled to a minimum of £7.20 per hour.  For workers 24 and under, the National Living Wage (currently £6.70 per hour) will continue to apply.

Financial penalties for employers who fail to an employment tribunal or settlement award

From 6 April 2016, employers who fail to pay the amount due either following an award to a Claimant by an Employment Tribunal, or under a COT3 agreement, can expect a fine of 50% of the amount outstanding, subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000.  This penalty will be payable to the government, not the Claimant, although the Claimant will still be able to enforce outstanding amount owed to them.

Employers who fail to make such payment will receive a warning notice in the first instance, followed by a penalty notice if payment is still not made.

Tribunal Postponements to become more problematic to obtain

For claims issued on or after 6 April 2016, the number of postponements will be limited to two per party for each case.  A deadline for postponements of seven days before the hearing will also come into force, together with costs or preparation order to be considered against a party who is successful in obtaining a postponement less than 7 days before a hearing is due to take place.

NICs for apprentices

From 6 April, employers of apprentices under 25 will no longer have to pay secondary Class 1 (employer) National Insurance contributions on earnings up to the Upper Earnings Limit, for those employees.

Government NICs rebates to end

Government NICs rebates for contracting out on a salary related basis will be removed from 6 April 2016.

Increase to a week’s pay

On 6 April, the maximum amount of a week’s pay for the purpose of calculating a statutory redundancy payment or various Employment Tribunal awards increase from £475 to £479.  In turn, this means that in the case of dismissals that take effect on or after 6 April 2016, the maximum statutory redundancy payment award will increase from £14,250 to £14,370.  The Employment Tribunal compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £78,355 to £78,962.

Employers need to be prepared and ready for these changes.  If you require advice in respect of any of the above, or any other employment of HR issue you are facing, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Chattertons’ employment team.