For anyone who’s struggling to keep up with what’s changing in the world of HR, here’s what employers need to know for July 2021 and beyond.
Employer Furlough Contribution
From 1st July 2021, you will be contributing towards the cost of any furloughed employees’ wages. As always, to be eligible for the grant, you must still pay anyone on furlough 80% of their wages but 1st July sees the government paying 70% of that amount with 10% being covered by the employer.
Note that your employer furlough contribution will increase to 20% from 1st August and will continue at that level during the month of September.
Furlough scheme ends (probably)
The furlough scheme comes to an end on Thursday 30th September 2021.
At the time of writing, we are not aware of any plans to extend the scheme beyond this date.
Right to work checks
During the pandemic, employers have been permitted to carry out right to work in the UK checks using video calls to job applicants and scanned copies of ID documents. This temporary arrangement was due to end in June but has now been extended to 31st August 2021.
From September then, you must check original documents rather than scans or photos of the originals or use the Home Office’s online right to work check tool. Checks must be performed in the physical presence of the individual or via a live video link, but you as the employer should have the original documents.
Settled status applications
30th June is the deadline for EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who were in the UK on 31st December 2020 to be able to apply for settled status.
Those who have not applied by the deadline risk being considered illegal immigrants from 1st July onwards.
If you employ people to whom this applies, you can issue general information and reminders about the deadline. You are not asked not expected to check if people have applied though!
What’s in the pipeline?
We don’t yet have any indication on when this might happen but it’s important that employers are aware of possible upcoming changes to pregnancy protection from redundancy. Currently, an employee at risk of redundancy while on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave has the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy that is available.
The government is proposing to extend this protection to:
- pregnant employees, once they have told their employer of their pregnancy
- employees returning from maternity or adoption leave within the previous six months
- parents returning from shared parental leave (although how the limits on this right will operate is still to be worked out).
The proposals are in response to a consultation on pregnancy and maternity discrimination. The government has said that legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows. So although we don’t have a specific date, this is definitely one to watch!
As always, if you have questions or want to discuss how these changes affect you and your business, please just get in touch.