Important Employment Law Changes to look out for in 2021
Each year, without a doubt, HR teams all over the UK are required to make adjustments to their current internal processes. The reason for this? Employment law.
Employment law is set out to regulate the relationship between employers and employees, and since human behaviours and trends are continuously changing, so does the need for different types of employment law.
We want to share with you some of the important employment law changes to look out for as we enter in to 2021.
National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage
Each year, the government will use the cost of living to calculate a suitable figure for both the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. The rise in the NLW will mean that low-paid workers’ income will increase in line with the predicted cost of living. So, if you are currently receiving the minimum wage, you’ll be pleased to see a jump in your pay by April!
At the moment, the current National Living Wage is £8.72 for anyone who is above 23 years old. This figure will be jumping up by 2.2% in April 2021, setting the new living wage at £8.91. The change also applies to younger workers as the National Minimum Wage jumps up too:
Furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020 has flipped the world of work upside down and has seen more than half of the UK workforce fall back on home working. In between all this, workers have been placed on furlough where they will temporarily stop working and be paid up to 80% of their normal wage up to £2,500 per month by the government.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has helped businesses survive through the pandemic, and after an incredible £46.4 billion being spent supporting furlough, the scheme is set to come to an end on April 30th 2021. The deadline has been extended several times, but employers should be prepared for the scheme to end and should start looking elsewhere to find support if they still require it once furlough payment finishes. You can find a whole list of various options available here.
Brexit – how settled status will affect workers
After 4 years of government debates and negotiations, the UK finally left the EU on 31st January 2020 with a withdrawal agreement in place. Part of this agreement is that beyond 30th June 2021, EU citizens and their families must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to gain settled status which will allow them to continue to work, live and study in the UK.
Surprisingly, as per the guidance on the government website, there will be no changes to the right to work checks that employers are required to carry out. The standard right to work checks will still be in place, however, who knows if this might suddenly change after 30th June.
Since we can’t be sure when and if the requirements might change, it’s important that HR have the correct technology in place to allow them to quickly adapt. Youmanage Customisable Employment Checks gives businesses the ability to record key information on employees, and upload the required documents based on the government guidance. These can be easily updated at any point, ensuring that businesses are able to rapidly adapt to new employment laws.
Brexit – does GDPR still apply?
GDPR is a piece of legislation that applies within the EU, so what does Brexit mean for businesses in regard to GDPR? If your business operates within the UK, then you will be required to follow UK Data Protection laws. The EU GDPR regulations have been incorporated in to the UK laws so realistically, there will be very little change when it comes to the data protection principles and rules that businesses are currently obliged to follow.
If post Brexit, your business still trades within the European Economic Area (EEA) then you will still be required to follow EU GDPR laws so it’s important that businesses know the differences between each set of regulations, and in which scenario the various laws apply.
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We hope that the above article helps you prepare for the changes to come in 2021, and that intelligent HR tech like Youmanage can continue to support your HR needs throughout the year ahead.