Tax free childcare

2017 will see the introduction of a new tax-free childcare scheme to support parents. Key areas are:

  • Eligible working families will be able to claim 20% of qualifying childcare costs for children under 5.

  • The new scheme will be available for children under 12 within the first year of the schemes operation.

  • The Government would top up any payments made into the account, capped at maximum Government contribution of £2,000.

Apprenticeship Levy

The Government has announced that it will introduce an apprenticeship levy from April 2017. The levy will be imposed on employers whose annual payroll is over £3 million and will be set at 0.5% of the employer's annual pay bill (with an allowance of £15,000 per annum to offset against the amount of levy a business must pay).

Employers may use the levy to access funding to pay for training and assessment of apprenticeships.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Private sector employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish on their website and a government website statistics covering:

  • Mean and median gender pay gap

  • Mean and median gender bonus figures for men and women.

  • The relative proportions of men and women in each quartile of the organisation's pay distribution.

For more information, please see our brief FAQ's here.

Changes in statutory rates

The weekly rates of the following statutory employment payments will increase from early April (probably 2 April) as follows:

  • Sick pay will increase from £88.45 to £89.45;

  • Maternity pay and maternity allowance will increase from £139.58 to £140.98;

  • Paternity pay will increase from £139.58 to £140.98;

  • Parental pay will increase from £139.58 to £140.98;

  • Adoption pay will increase from £139.58 to £140.98.

National Minimum Wage increase

The rates for national minimum wage will rise from 1 April 2017 as follows:

  • NMW for workers aged 21 to 24 will rise from £6.95 to £7.05;

  • NMW for workers aged 18 to 20 will rise from £5.55 to £5.60;

  • NMW for workers aged under 18 but above compulsory school leaving age who are not apprentices will rise from £4.00 to £4.05;

  • Apprenticeship rate will rise from £3.40 to £3.50.

  • The National Living Wage will increase from £7.20 to £7.50.

Immigration Skills Charge

The immigration skills charge will be payable from April 2017 by all employers who are registered sponsors for the points based system which is designed to discourage employers from recruiting from outside the EEA. The proposal is to set the charge at £1,000 per employee per year.