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/ 03 Nov 2021

Autumn 2021 Budget: Key Employment Announcements

On 27 October 2021, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, outlined the contents of the government’s Autumn 2021 Budget to the House of Commons.

Trainee Solicitor Tom Stubbs outlines the key takeaways below.

In contrast to the previous Budget, which had focused on the emergency support required to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, this Budget sets out the government’s fiscal plans for a ‘post-Covid’ society.

‘Plan for Jobs’ expansion

On 4 October 2021, the Chancellor announced a £500 million expansion of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ initiative, which would target support to workers leaving the furlough scheme, the unemployed aged over 50, the lowest paid and young people.

Funding for Apprenticeships

As a result of increased apprenticeships funding, the government will continue to meet 95% of the apprenticeship training cost for employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy.

The Budget includes improvements to the apprenticeship system for all employers.

  • An enhanced apprenticeship recruitment service from May 2022 for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to assist them in hiring new apprentices.
  • Supporting flexible apprenticeship training models, to ensure that apprenticeship training continues to meet employers’ needs.
  • By April 2022, the government will consider changes aimed at giving employers more choice over how the apprenticeship training is delivered and explore the streamlining of existing additional employer support payments so that they go directly to employers.
  • The introduction of a ‘return-on-investment tool’ in October 2022 to ensure employers can see the benefits apprentices create in their business.
  • The extension of the £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive for employers until 31 January 2022.

National Minimum Wage

The Low Pay Commission submitted its recommendations for the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) on 22 October 2021 and these were accepted by the government.

The Chancellor announced that the following rates (per hour) will apply from 1 April 2022:

  • NLW for those over 23: from £8.91 to £9.50.
  • NMW for those aged 21 to 22: from £8.36 to £9.18.
  • NMW for those aged 18 to 20: from £6.56 to £6.83.
  • NMW for those aged under 18: from £4.62 to £4.81.
  • Apprentice Rate: from £4.30 to £4.81.

How can Hanne & Co’s employment law team help?

Hanne & Co are experienced in all areas of employment law. Whether it be advising on complex legal issues, drafting contracts and policies, resolving workplace disputes, or successfully defending employment tribunal claims, Hanne & Co have the breadth and depth of experience to meet your business needs. If you want to discuss any of the above in more detail or to find out more about how our team can help you, please do not hesitate to contact Hanne & Co’s Employment Law Department on 020 7228 0017.


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