Amid the virus – don’t forget your April responsibilities!

HR managers are facing a busy and stressful period. The COVID-19 virus is testing policies, procedures and cultures on a daily basis, with decisions needing to be made on sick pay, working from home, meetings, travel and more.

On top of this, we’re moving towards the beginning of April, which is already a traditionally busy time for HR departments. There are a number of changes due to take place at the start of the next tax year, and you need to be ready to implement these in addition to any measures you’re taking to address the current crisis.

We’re here to help – with a quick reminder of the things you’ll need to make sure are happening in your business.

  • Statutory rates – the statutory rates of pay for maternity, paternity, shared parental leave, adoption pay and sick pay are changing. All rates except sick pay are expected to rise to £151.20 per week from £148.68. Sick pay is expected to rise to £95.85 per week from £94.25.
  • Statutory parental bereavement leave – parents whose child dies, or is stillborn, will be entitled to two weeks’ bereavement leave from April 2020. Those who have been working with a company for six months or more will also be entitled to statutory pay at the new rate of £151.20.
  • Minimum wage rises – there are significant increases to minimum wages, which businesses need to plan for, particularly if income has taken a downturn because of the issues with COVID-19. Workers aged between 21 and 24 will receive £8.20 per hour, up from £7.70, and the national living wage is increasing to £8.72 from £8.21. Other increases to minimum wages also apply.
  • Changes to IR35 – this is not news to HR managers or to contractors, and needs to be carefully understood and planned for, especially for those businesses who employ a number of contractors on a regular basis. Off-payroll working rules are changing on April 6th, although the government has said that the changes will now only apply to those contracts that businesses plan to continue past April 6th, rather than to services regardless of when they were carried out.

We know that your HR plate is overflowing at the moment. Our role is to support businesses and HR departments to ensure they comply with legislation even at the busiest and most difficult of times. If you need additional help or support, please contact us today.


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