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Employment Law Changes from April 2021

There are a number of changes in employment law coming into effect from April. These changes include:


The IR35 rules is being extended to the private sector effective from 6th April 2021.

IR35 is a mechanism introduced to ensure appropriate tax is being paid by contractors.

Under the new rules, the company engaging the contractor is responsible for determining the appropriate status of the contractor and assessing whether or not IR35 applies. In other words, are they a genuine self-employed contractor or a ‘disguised employee’.

To assist employers determining whether IR35 applies or not, HMRC have provided an anonymous online checking service as follows:-

Check employment status for tax – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

National Living Wage:

The National Living wage and National Minimum Wage Hourly rates will increase effective from 1st April 2021.

The age band for the national living wage (which previously would have covered 25 years old and up) has now been reduced to include 23 year olds and up.

The new hourly rates of pay are as follows:-
• National Living Wage (age 23+) to increase 2.2%, from £8.72 to £8.91
• National Minimum Wage (age 21-22) to increase 2%, from £8.20 to £8.36
• National Minimum Wage (age 18-20) to increase 1.7% from £6.45 to £6.56
• National Minimum Wage (age under 18) to increase 1.5% from £4.55 to £4.62
• Apprenticeship Wage to increase 3.6% from £4.15 to £4.30

Statutory family-related pay and statutory sick pay:

  • The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay increases to £151.97 from 4 April 2021.
  • The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £96.35 from 6 April 2021.

Statutory redundancy payments:

Payments and awards made to workers in employment rights cases are to rise with effect from 6 April 2021

The increased limits, announced by the Department for the Economy (DfE), relate to a range of employment rights including:

• statutory redundancy payments;
• the basic and compensatory awards for unfair dismissal;
• the limit on guarantee payments made when employees are not provided with work; and
• the minimum basic award for unfair dismissal in health and safety and certain other cases.

The limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal rises from £88,693 to £89,669 while the maximum amount of ‘a week’s pay’ for the purpose of calculating redundancy payment rises from £560 to £566 in Northern Ireland.

If you require any assistance with your HR requirements we are more than happy to help, contact Julie Pollock on 07858089006 or e-mail [email protected]