April is a time of change: new flowers in bloom, longer daylight hours and a warmer breeze sweeping through. However, not all change coming this month is as reassuring. Two major changes to UK policy and employment law have the potential to significantly disrupt ‘business as usual’ for many UK manufacturers.
The Apprenticeship Levy and Gender Pay Gap Reporting both go into effect on 6 April, and both can be viewed as opportunities or challenges. EEF’s Levy and HR & employment law experts have shared what these changes are and advice for next steps for the industry.
While the Apprenticeship Levy (the Levy) comes into effect on 6th April what this means in practice is that employers in scope of the Levy will make their first declaration to HMRC in May 2017, based on their April pay bill. The Levy has been set at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. Employers then get a £15,000 annual allowance, taken off this amount. The new Levy will be introduced alongside a new online Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS). The DAS will require an employer to register their details online. Levy payers will see digital funds arrive in their digital account soon after their declaration to HMRC. Digital funds can only be spent on apprenticeship training and assessment with registered training providers. Any apprenticeship that starts on or after 1st May 2017 will be funded under the new model. For more Apprenticeship Levy resources and FAQs, visit our Apprenticeship Levy webpage.
In addition to being an approved apprenticeship training provider, EEF is currently working with businesses across the UK to help them through all of the specifics of the Levy and ensure they get the most out of their vouchers. We help identify ways to utilise the Levy to upskill / reskill an existing workforce as well as recruiting new apprentices. If you would like assistance managing your Levy s and apprenticeship training, get in touch.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Also beginning in April, new regulations will come into force requiring organisations with 250 or more employees to publish annual reports on the overall gender pay gap between men and women along with other gender pay related information. The first gender pay reports will be due by April 2018 and must be made publically available on a dedicated government website as well as the employer’s own UK website.
EEF has worked closely with the Government Equalities Office on the development of gender pay legislation, ensuring our HR team can help lift the burden of the reporting process, from initial preparation and analysis to practical recommendations on how to reduce your gender pay gap. To find out how we can help visit our Gender Pay Gap webpage.