BEIS Bulletin – 4th April

Welcome to the BEIS Bulletin from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Here’s the latest news from BEIS:

National Minimum Wage uplift

Around 2.5 million UK workers will receive a pay rise as the National Minimum and Living Wages increased on Friday 1 April in line with the recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission.

Workers aged 21-22 will receive a rise of almost 10% on the National Minimum Wage, while those aged 23 and over receiving the National Living Wage will get a raise of 6.6% to £9.50

The uplifts apply immediately, and businesses are being advised to take simple steps to ensure they are meeting their legal responsibilities and to avoid falling foul of the law:

  • Find out which staff are eligible for the new rate;
  • Update the company payroll, and
  • Communicate the changes to staff as soon as possible.

BEIS will be launching a marketing campaign encouraging employees to check they are being paid properly on the Check Your Pay site, which also offers advice on what to do if they are being underpaid.

New guidance for businesses on living with covid

The UK Health Security Agency has set out new public health principles for workplaces for businesses, organisations and employers in England to consider in managing the risk to their workforce from respiratory infections such as COVID-19. 

The new guidance sets out actions that businesses should follow to help reduce the spread of infections, including ensuring adequate ventilation and encouraging vaccinations. Whilst there is no longer an expectation that every employer will consider COVID-19 explicitly in their risk assessment, employers should continue to comply with their legal obligations to their staff. Further information is on GOV.UK.

Free COVID-19 tests are no longer available for the general public, but the Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed that tests will continue to be available to help protect specific groups including eligible patients and NHS and care staff.

Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result is advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious.

Other news:

  • From 1 April the Energy Price Cap, as set by the energy regulator Ofgem, will rise from £1,277 to £1,971. This is due to last until October 2022. HMT has published a summary of the range of support available to help businesses and consumers with the cost of living.
  • Ofgem has launched a package of measures to provide microbusinesses with new rights and advice when dealing with energy providers.
  • The Aerospace Technology Institute is to receive £685 million funding over the next 3 years to support the development of zero-carbon and ultra-low-emission aircraft technology. The ATI programme will open to new funding applications on Monday 4 April.
  • The UK Seafood Fund Infrastructure Scheme is now open for applications. Successful applicants will be awarded a minimum of £250,000 and maximum of £5 million to invest in capability, renewable energy and social and economic welfare.

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