The Employment Law Blog

Employment Law: the Autumn 2017 Budget

On 23 November 2017, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his Autumn 2017 budget. Below are the key employment law considerations.

National Living Wage and National Minimum wage rates are due to increase in April 2018. They are due to change as follows:

Age Group Current Rate Proposed April 2018 Rate
25 and above £7.50 £7.83
21-24 £7.05 £7.38
18-20 £5.60 £5.90
Below 18 £4.04 £4.20
Apprentice £3.50 £3.70

This is clearly a significant increase as a full time worker earning the National Living Wage will have the equivalent of a £600 pay rise per year and it will therefore be important for employers to budget for this. Further, these increases to youth rates have been the largest in the last 10 years.

There have been some changes to taxation, increasing everyone’s personal allowance to £11,850 from the current £11,500. The higher rate tax threshold will increase from £45,000 to £46,350, meaning only employees earning £46,350 or above will be subject to the higher 40% rate of tax.

Earlier in the year Matthew Taylor published the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices which recommended various changes to the way employment status is judged particularly for people working in what has rapidly become known as the gig economy. A specific recommendation of the Taylor Review was removing the focus on substitution clauses in consultancy contracts when deciding employment status. Traditionally employers have been able to use substitution clauses to indicate that they intend that an individual is self-employed, removing their liability for the rights associated with worker status (for example, holiday pay). For further discussion on the review, you can visit our blog post on “Employment Status: Taylor Review Update” by following this link:

https://www.tayloremmet.co.uk/blogsite/employment-status-taylor-review-update/

The budget announces that the government will publish a discussion paper as part of the response to the Taylor Review with the intention of making employment status tests for both employment rights and tax clearer.

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