This month’s start to the new tax year brings with it big changes to key employment laws for the United Kingdom.

As of the 6th of April, business owners and HR professionals will need to be aware of reforms to payroll reporting, RTI, redundancy consultation, statutory pay and income tax.

The biggest change to the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system in more than 70 years is the introduction of Real Time Information, or RTI.  This new process requires that all details and changes in employee PAYE deductions be reported
at the time of payment, not at year-end.

Employers must now send this information electronically to HM Revenue and Customs; therefore all payroll providers and employers must have the correct software in place.

“Reporting PAYE in real time is a massive change to the way that businesses operate across the UK,” explains Adam Marshall, British Chambers of Commerce Director of Policy. 

However, failure to comply with the new system will result in penalties, though the government promises a “light touch” approach at first.

The government has also changed the redundancy consultation period of 100 or more people to 45 days - reduced by 50%.  Though this change has critics in trade unions, the government claims that such a change will allow businesses
more flexibility.

Other key employment laws that have changed include statutory pay, which has increased the weekly rate of sick pay from £85.85 to £86.70 and paternity, maternity and adoption pay from £135.45 to £136.78.

The personal allowance for income tax has also been increased to £9,440 for the 2013-2014 tax year.