The Chancellor’s Budget contained a number of announcements that will be of interest to employers and employees.
He referred several times to the need to respond to changes in the labour market and to prepare Britain for a “global future.”
He specifically noted the increase in self-employed workers. Using the phrase “similar work for similar wages,” he noted the current difference in their overall tax burden compared to that of the employees. He then announced increases to self employed NIC to close that gap.
This may be a portent of things to come. With consultations on the tax treatment of various benefits and expenses, starting on 20th March and a number of pre-announced changes coming in on 6 April - and then the Taylor review on Modern Employment practices being released in Summer 2017, there's plenty in the pipeline for employers, employees and the self-employed to watch out for.
Investment in skills was highlighted by the Chancellor, driven by the need for increased agility from workers faced with longer working lives and disruptive changes to the labour market.
This is a timely reminder to employers that the Apprenticeship Levy comes into force in April 2017.
Employers need to understand what the half a percent extra payroll tax will cost them, and what they can claim back from the levy to Fund for future skills development.
In summary a budget which begins to respond to the rapidly changing workplace by starting to level the playing field for different types of workers, but there's plenty more to come.