A number of legislative changes will take place this month, though not as many as the Government had originally planned. We summarise the key changes below.
Increases to SMP, SPP and SAP
The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will rise from £135.45 to £136.78 from 7 April 2013. The weekly earnings threshold for these payments will rise from £107 to £109.
Statutory sick pay
The weekly rate of statutory sick pay will rise from £85.85 to £86.70 from 6 April 2013, with the weekly earnings threshold also rising from £107 to £109.
Collective redundancy consultation period
The statutory rules on collective redundancy consultation are triggered where an employer proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days or less.
From 6 April 2013, the minimum consultation period for very large scale redundancies (where 100 or more job losses are proposed within a 90 day period) will be reduced from 90 days to 45 days. The critical date is the date when you first propose the redundancies, not the date the dismissals are likely to take place. From 6 April 2013 there will also be an equivalent reduction in the 90 day period (which will be reduced to 45 days) to notify the Secretary of State (the HR1 form).
In addition, from 6 April 2013, employees on fixed term contracts which reach their agreed termination date will be excluded from the collective redundancy consultation requirements.
Changes to pension auto-enrolment thresholds
The new law on workplace pensions provides that employers who have passed their staging date must auto-enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme and make minimum contributions for them.
Changes to the following earnings thresholds will come into force on 6 April 2013:
- The earnings threshold that triggers the duty to auto-enrol an employee will increase from £8,105 to £9,440, in line with the increase in the PAYE threshold.
- The lower limit on the qualifying earnings band on which contributions to DC schemes will be calculated will change from £5,564 to £5,668, and the upper limit will change from £42,475 to £41,450.
To help you prepare for the complex new duties, this month EEF is running a series of practical seminars – Counting down to auto-enrolment – it’s trickier than you think - in conjunction with pension law experts Squires Sanders.
What about the rest?
Other expected changes to employment legislation have been delayed. We will keep you updated of developments as they happen.