What was in the Budget regarding employment?

Eavanne Allen

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, delivered the 2017 Autumn Budget to Parliament on November 22. Here are some of the key elements of the speech which relate to business and employment:

  • THERE ARE 32 MILLION PEOPLE IN WORK IN THE UK – A NEAR RECORD HIGH
  • UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT ITS LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 1975
  • THE NATIONAL LIVING WAGE – EFFECTIVELY A LEGAL MINIMUM WAGE – WILL RISE BY 4.4%, MORE THAN THE RATE OF INFLATION. FOR EMPLOYEES AGED 25 AND OVER, IT WILL INCREASE FROM £7.50 PER HOUR TO £7.83 PER HOUR FROM APRIL 2018
  • THE LEGAL MINIMUM PAY RATE FOR 21 TO 24 YEAR OLDS WILL RISE TO £7.38, WHILE FOR 18 TO 20 YEAR OLDS IT WILL BE £5.90, FOR THOSE AGED 16 OR 17 IT WILL BE £4.20, AND FOR APPRENTICES IT WILL BE £3.70
  • THE PERSONAL ALLOWANCE – THE AMOUNT SOMEONE MUST EARN BEFORE THEY PAY INCOME TAX – WILL RISE FROM £11,500 TO £11,850 FROM APRIL, BUT THIS IS REALLY JUST AN INCREASE IN LINE WITH INFLATION. THE HIGHER RATE THRESHOLD – THE LEVEL ABOVE WHICH INCOME IS TAXED AT 40% – WILL RISE TO £46,350, UP FROM £45,001
  • FROM APRIL, RISES IN BUSINESS RATES WILL BE PEGGED TO THE CONSUMER PRICES INDEX MEASURE OF INFLATION, RATHER THAN THE RETAIL PRICES INDEX, WHICH IS OFTEN HIGHER. BUSINESS RATES REVALUATIONS WILL TAKE PLACE EVERY THREE YEARS, RATHER THAN EVERY FIVE YEARS, STARTING AFTER THE NEXT REVALUATION, CURRENTLY DUE IN 2022
  • WHERE AN EMPLOYEE IS PROVIDED WITH A COMPANY DIESEL CAR THAT CAN ALSO BE USED FOR PRIVATE PURPOSES, THE SUPPLEMENT USED TO CALCULATE COMPANY CAR TAX AND CAR FUEL BENEFIT CHARGE WILL INCREASE BY 1%
  • EMPLOYER-PROVIDED ELECTRICITY FOR EMPLOYEES TO CHARGE THEIR PERSONAL ELECTRIC CARS WILL NO LONGER BE A TAXABLE BENEFIT-IN-KIND
  • A CONSULTATION WILL TAKE PLACE INTO THE PRACTICE OF COMPANIES ENGAGING WORKERS VIA PERSONAL SERVICE COMPANIES, INSTEAD OF EMPLOYING THEM ON A FULL-SCALE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT AND PAYING THEM VIA THE PAYROLL
  • THE VAT THRESHOLD FOR SMALL BUSINESSES REMAINS UNCHANGED AT £85,000
  • £500 MILLION OF ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WAS PLEDGED FOR 5G MOBILE NETWORKS, FULL FIBRE BROADBAND AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE