There are a few key changes this year for employers to be particularly aware of.

New Immigration System

From 1st January 2021 a new immigration system applies to individuals arriving in the UK for the first time.  EEA citizens (this includes EU citizens) and Swiss citizens moving to the UK for the first time from this date to work will need to obtain a work visa in advance.

Employers planning to sponsor workers from outside the UK will need to apply for a sponsorship licence in advance.

The Governments online check is a useful starting point for businesses.  View a job applicant's right to work details - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The National Minimum Wage rates increase on 6th April 2021 as follows:

  • National Living Wage (23+) increase from £8.72 to £8.91
  • National Minimum Wage (21-22) increases from £8.20 to £8.36
  • National Minimum Wage (18-20) increases from £6.45 to £6.56
  • National Minimum Wage (under 18) increases from £4.55 to £4.62
  • Apprenticeship Wage increases from £4.15 to £4.30

To note in particular here is that the age threshold for the National Living Wage is lowered from age 25 to age 23.

Statutory Payments

On 6th April each year, statutory payments such as statutory sick pay, maternity pay etc. are increased. The 2021 rates are as follows:

  • Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, parental bereavement and shared parental payments - increase from £151.20 to £151.97 per week
  • Statutory sick pay (SSP) is set to increase from £95.85 to £96.35 per week

Helen McDougall, Helen McDougall Human Resources Management


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