From 6 April 2013, employers must report their employee’s pay and deductions to HMRC prior to or at the time of pay. This is known as real-time information. This reduces the amount of paperwork for employers, but it does mean that employers will need to make sure that they have suitable payroll software so the information can be sent instantly to HMRC by electronic means. Employers with under 50 employees are not required to do this until 5 October 2013.
Reduction in redundancy consultation period
On 6 April 2013, where 100 or more employees are affected, the minimum consultation period before the first redundancy can be made was reduced from 90 days to 45 days. A further change is that employees with fixed-term contracts “which have reached their agreed termination point” will be exempt from the collective redundancy consultation requirements.
A new Acas non-statutory code of practice on how to handle collective redundancies has also been published. This aims to clarify the law on collective redundancies and improve the quality of consultation. The booklet also provides guidance on what constitutes an ‘establishment’ for the purposes of collective redundancies.
Increases in statutory pay
On 6 April 2013, statutory sick pay increased from £85.85 to £86.70; and the weekly earnings threshold rose from £107 to £109. On 7 April 2013, statutory maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay increased from £135.45 to £136.78; and the weekly earnings threshold also rose from £107 to £109.