April 2021 – Updates to UK Employment Law

April 2021 – Updates to UK Employment Law

Apr 10, 2021

The new financial year is upon us – congratulations, you made it!

2020/21 felt like the longest period on record with the seemingly never-ending list of challenges to face. While it’s been a bumpy ride, adaptation and agility became second nature to those businesses still standing.

With no alternative, change has been embraced, allowing new ideas and services to thrive. So, this April, the new changes to UK Employment Law should be water-off-a-duck’s-back… right?!

Are you already clued up? If not, don’t fear, here’s a round-up of some important changes for April 2021/22:


Increase to the National Minimum and Living Wage

As well as an increase for all age brackets, the National Living Wage will also be extended to workers aged 23 and 24. Check out the handy summary in the table below:

Age Bracket

April ’20

April ’21
25+ £8.72 £8.91
21-24 £8.20 £8.36
18-20 £6.45 £6.56
16-17 £4.55 £4.62
Apprentice* £4.15 £4.30

* 1st year apprentices and those under 19


Changes to Statutory Sick Pay

Running with the theme, the Standard Rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is set to increase. You can receive SSP from your employer if you’re too ill to work, up to a maximum of 28 weeks.

Don’t forget that you could receive Statutory Sick Pay if you, or anyone in your support bubble has tested positive for coronavirus, or is exhibiting symptoms.

April ’20 April ’21
Weekly SSP £95.85 £96.35


Changes to IR35 – Off-payroll working

IR35 rules are designed to stop contractors who work similar roles to employees from paying less National Insurance Contributions and Income tax.

If you currently have workers who provide services to medium or large-sized private sector clients, or public sector clients, this affects you! From 6th April 2021, those clients will be responsible for deciding the employment status of your workers.

But what does that actually mean? – I’m glad you asked.

If you have such workers, they should seek determination of their employment status from the client. They are also entitled to ask for the reasoning behind that decision and dispute it if they disagree.

Please note, if your worker provides services to small clients in the private sector different rules will apply.

For full details head over to The Government website!


Gender Pay Gap Reports

UK employers with more than 250 employees have been given an additional 6 months to report their gender pay gap data, moving the deadline to 5th October 2021.

This is due to the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic. For the current reporting year, the ‘snapshot date’ used will be either 31st March or 5th April 2020.

Keep ‘em peeled!


Changes to Employment Tribunal Compensations

The maximum and minimum caps on awards received from employment tribunals in cases of unfair dismissal are (yes, you guessed it) increasing. Here’s handy breakdown:


April ’20 April ’21
Weekly Pay Cap Used to Calculate Awards* £538 £544
Minimum Award for Unfair Dismissal** £6,562 £6,634
Maximum Award for Unfair Dismissal*** £88,519 £89,493

*Maximum amount of week’s pay used to calculate basic unfair dismissal award
**Certain unfair dismissals including duties of health and safety, employee representatives and trade unions
***Applies to automatic unfair dismissals


These figures apply in dismissal cases where the date of termination is on, or after, 6th April 2021. Any award previously calculated with this date in mind will have to be re-calculated to reflect the changes, so don’t miss it!


Final Word

There’re just a few headlines to whet your appetite; this is far from an exhaustive list.

If you’re worried that something might slip through the cracks, don’t leave it to chance – get in touch. We’ve done the homework, so you don’t have to!

If you’d like to know more about how any of the new Employment Law changes will affect you and your business, drop us an email at kate@runninghrltd.co.uk.