17/12/20 – Key employment law events 2021.
Let’s hope we see the back of the pandemic in 2021, and can return to normality. We’re sure we’ll spend considerable time in 2021 reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on the employment landscape – we’ll see how many people have sadly lost their jobs, as well as those whose working habits and workspaces have changed, and the industries that will have changed, in some cases, forever.
By the end of 2021, COVID won’t have been the only seismic shift in the employment market, we are yet to see the impact of Brexit on industry generally, and particularly on labour-dependent industry. Will gaps left by departing Europeans be filled by the COVID unemployed? What will be the impact on wages? Will labour-dependent employers drive a new wave of automation and innovation to fill the longer term gaps left by low paid migrant workers? 2021 is likely to answer may of these questions, and we expect a year of adjustment across sectors.
We look forward to reporting on developments in law and employment on these pages, but for now we will summarise what we can reasonably anticipate in 2021.
2021 key employment law events
1st January 2021 – The transition period will have ended and new immigration rules will apply. If we don’t leave with a deal, EU, EA or Swiss workers who do not have a pre-settled or settled status, or a Euro TLR visa, will need to hold a valid visa issued under the new immigration system (for which their employer would need to become a sponsor.)
January 2021 – The government had committed to announcing what changes it will make to the CJRS (furlough scheme) for February and March. This may now not happen, as the government announced on 17th December that the furlough scheme will continue until the end of April 2021 (an extra month over previously announced plans) and that the government will continue to pay 80% of wages to a cap of £2,500 per month.
1st February – HMRC will begin publishing the names of employers who have claimed CJRS payments since December, and how much each employer has claimed.
26th February – Consultation will close on whether to reform post termination non-compete clauses. We’re already hearing indications that lengthy post termination clauses are less likely to be supported by the courts, we may well see non-compete clauses in particular ruled unlawful, or a requirement for employers to pay employees for the period to which they want the clauses apply.
1st April – New National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates come into force, with the NLW being extended to 23 year olds and over (up until April 2021, it applies to those over 25.)
6th April – IR35 will apply to the private sector, the burden for proving that the contractor is not a worker, or an ‘off-payroll’ worker, for the purposes of income tax and NI, will shift to medium and large employers.
6th April – New 2021 statutory rates and allowances will come into force, covering statutory sick pay, family leave, National Insurance limits, mileage rates etc.
30th April – The CJRS is expected to end.
9th November – The Supreme Court will rule on whether part year worker’s holiday should be capped at 12.07% of their working time.
1st December – We hope, and pray, that we’ve seen the back of the pandemic, and we can publish our ’employer’s guide to staff festive parties,’ an event sorely missed by many across the UK and the world in 2020 (the party, not our article!)
A thank you from myHRdept
We wish all of our customers a happy Christmas and New Year and, in particular, for those of our clients who have lost or reduced their businesses this year because of COVID, we thank you for your custom and we wish you every success in the new year. The Great British Entrepreneurial spirit cannot be quashed and, in the words of one of our oldest, and most COVID-devastated clients:
“We’ve built this business from nothing, and when the time’s right, we can build it again. This time we can learn from previous mistakes, building it faster and better than before.”
We know they will do just that, and we look forwarded to supporting them, and our other similarly affected clients and friends, in doing so.