It is important for businesses to understand upcoming changes to employment legislation to plan and advise employees on new laws and updates. In the coming months of 2021 developments and changes in areas such as IR35, discrimination and additional leave for unpaid carers are some of forthcoming updates.
The changes involving the off-payroll tax legislation, IR35 (due to be implemented in April 2020 but deferred to April 2021) will only affect medium to large organisations but are important in terms of ensuring it is clear in consultant contracts as to whether the consultant falls inside or outside IR35. The new legislation will mean that any self-employed consultants offering services through a limited company should use the online government tools to work out if there will be any obligation on the organisation to deduct income tax and national insurance contributions at source when paying the contractor. Please read our previous blog for more detail on IR35 – found here.
It is especially important that companies and organisations are reminded of the difference between positive discrimination and positive action when discussing improving diversity within their team. Appointing an individual into a role based solely on a protected characteristic they may possess is positive discrimination and is not allowed. Positive action, on the other hand, is expressing on recruitment forms that applicants from under-represented groups such as those from BAME backgrounds, are welcomed and encouraged. The only time a candidates protected characteristic should be included within a process is in a ‘tie break’ situation when there is nothing else to separate two candidates.
National Minimum Wage Worker Entitlement
As per usual, the National Minimum Wage rates will be increasing from 1st April 2021, however this year the age that workers become entitled to the National Living Wage is also changing. Individuals aged 23 and over (as opposed to 25 and over, as it is currently) will be entitled to the National Living Wage as of 1st April 2021. Harwood HR has also previously written a blog containing more detail on the NMW Updates along with employer mistakes to avoid. The blog can be found here.
From 30th June 2021, EU Job Applicants will need to provide proof of a visa or residential status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If this applies to any members of your workforce, you may benefit from reading our previous, more detailed blog regarding changes to recruitment of EU Nationals. The blog can be found here.