9 Things To Know About The New Tax Year

9 Things To Know About The New Tax Year

Personal Tax Allowance

Personal Tax Allowance change from £12,500 to £12,570; basic rate 20% bandwidth £1 to £37,700.

Furlough Extension

 New employees on RTI submission before 2nd March 2021 are eligible for furlough from 1st May 2021.

Furlough Contribution

From 1st July 2021 you will need to pay 10% (or 1 eighth) of the 80% furlough amount. From 1st August 2021 you will need to pay 20% (or 1 quarter) of the 80% furlough amount.

NEW Taxpayer Protection Taskforce

 1,250 HMRC Operatives will investigating furlough claims.

Plan 4 - Scottish Student Loan Rate

Student Loan Plan 4 (SLP4) introduce a new STARTER DECLARATION.

NMW & NLW Changes

Applicable from pay period starting 1st April – Read More


The weekly rate will be £96.35, or an unrounded dayrate of £13.7642.


£151.97 per week or 90% of average weekly earnings (whichever is lower); no change to empolyer recovery anticipated.

NI Rates

No changes
April Re-Opening Forecast

April Re-Opening Forecast

Hospitality industry forecasts 70% of normal revenue to return when outdoor service resumes on the 12th of April.


Analysis from S4labour indicates that hospitality operators are forecasting 70% of revenue compared to the same week in 2019 (not 2020). The figure of 70% is somewhat remarkable considering that the vast majority of capacity, i.e. inside, will be unavailable. The research is also encouraging as the sector prepares to re-open with over a week left to secure even more bookings. 


The figures represent only sites that are preparing to re-open on the 12th of April and it is important to note that a large number of operators either have no outside space or not enough outdoor space to make opening feasible.


S4labour’s Chief Customer Officer Sam Wignell, commented “the figure of 70% of revenue compared with 2019 is in line with anecdotal evidence from conversations across the sector. There has been a scramble and huge investment to prepare outside spaces for the 12th of April, however, it comes with a large dose of caution as much of the pent-up demand could quickly be washed away with poor weather.” 


Alastair Scott, MD of S4labour and owner of Malvern Inns who operate 3 pubs, added “we have seen an unprecedented amount of bookings in all of our sites with customers showing a clear desire to meet up and start enjoying hospitality once more”.

Important changes to NLW and NMW

Important changes to NLW and NMW

Important changes to NLW and NMW

National living wage increases have become a metronomic feature of the financial year, and while this year’s increase is nothing untypical, both Furlough arrangements and the changes in age brackets mean that the rate increase is more complex than usual. There are three main highlights to familiarise yourself with before this April’s NLW and NMW changes; the increase amount, the age bracket the increase relates to and the Furlough scheme.

Firstly, the rate change itself. On the 1st of April 2021, NLW is due to increase from £8.72 per hour by 2.2%, to £8.91. In addition, NMW is set to increase by 2% for workers ages 21-22 to £8.36, 1.7% for workers aged 18-20 to £6.56, and 1.5% for workers aged 16-17 to £4.62.


Importantly however, the NLW age bracket for workers will drop from 25 years old to 23 years. This is particularly impactful for an industry like hospitality where there is a high proportion of younger employees. In fact, by dropping the age from 25 to 23 it will impact the pay of roughly 10% of hospitality employees.

Whilst the increase will be welcomed by employees across the UK, they may be disappointed to learn that this will have no impact on the amount they receive whilst on Furlough. Government guidance has stated that while Furlough will continue into the summer, employees on Furlough are not subject to the increase and their furlough pay will remain based on reference periods before to the increase. However, employers will have to pay NLW / NMW for holiday pay or while an employee is on training.

This will give some businesses a conundrum on how to maximise the benefit of the Furlough and Flexible Furlough schemes when considering who to bring back to work and who to keep on the scheme. By leaving employees over the age of 25 on the scheme while bringing back younger employees, some of the increase will be held for the short term, before reaching the point of relinquishing Furlough. It is important to acknowledge that any factors concerning employees should not contravene age discrimination legislation.

Re-Opening Resources

Re-Opening Resources

Latest Blog on
Training in 2021

What does training look like in 2021? Training Manager, Lisa Dunks looks at the changing world of L&D and how S4labour are continuing to adapt.

Free Webinar
Training Sessions

Book in on one of the many free refresher webinars to make sure you are able to fly out of the blocks when your doors reopen.

S4labour Reopening


An S4labour reopening to-do list! This is something you can send out to ensure your site managers have a plan for the first weeks of rotas & forecasts.

Training Agenda

We have put together a template for you to go through for labour planning refresher training when your teams are back together.

Sub Us In

We can take one thing off your to-do list and train your teams for you with our bespoke training solutions starting from just £100, get in touch with Lisa to find out more

S4labour Re-Opening Checklist

White Label - Editable Version

S4labour - PDF Version

Training in 2021

Training in 2021

Training in 2021

It’s been a strange year for everyone, particularly a lot of us in hospitality and every area of our businesses have been turned upside down by Covid. As we start to see some light at the end of the tunnel I thought it would be useful to share some thoughts on how training is changing and what we are doing in S4labour to adapt. 


With pure classroom training interventions becoming a thing of the past prior to the pandemic, more organisations were using a blended learning approach, not only because of the cost saving but also the time saved on traveling. The beauty of online learning is that it can be applied straight away, putting it into action as soon as you wave goodbye and find the exit button to the online room. We have always offered online launches at S4labour but it’s been almost a year since I stood at the front of a group of people and delivered our launch workshops or refresher sessions. Since the pandemic however, our online workshops for bigger teams have been a great success and our users have responded really well to implementing their systems into their business. Emily Grenville, Head of H.R. at Tossed said “it’s the most support we have been given by a supplier”.Jacques from the Big Smoke & Morgan Groups is also impressed, commenting “[our] launch was a great success and given the choice of face to face and remote I would choose remote again” 


The Rise Of Capabilities Over Skills

Back when I was in operations we always hired for attitude and trained for skill, it didn’t matter to me if they hadn’t done the job before, what mattered  was that they wanted to learn, wanted to push themselves and had the right attitude. I knew I could teach our service cycle, our menu, our cocktails and systems to anyone that wanted to learn. One of the shifts in focus L&D teams have had over the last couple of years is towards    capabilities rather than skills, with short sharp training interventions,providing learners with the ability to search for content and learn something in real time. This style of learning ensures individuals can learn in the flow of work tying in learning directly with the workers abilities to perform their jobs and to produce business outcomes. At S4labour we have strengthened our resource library so users can access content on any device when they are faced with a knowledge gap at any time. We have also made our training bitesize and loads to choose from: 15-minute online modules, 30 minute webinars and 1 hour one-to-one remote training and group workshops. We also engage with our customers to find their pain points and ensure we discuss the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’ to use our software, taking our training further and deeper into the habits and behaviors that are needed by users to get success.


Learning in the flow of work 

One of the biggest frustrations learners tend to have in the workplace is the amount of time that is wasted, employees just want to get the work done and do it right. Just-in-time learning enables employees to improve efficiencies and gain new capabilities with hands on, just-in-time and just-for-me learning. Following our launches, each General Manager gets the ability to spend two one-to-one sessions with a system expert ensuring just that – it’s at the time they need it, it’s just for them and improves efficiencies and reduces the frustration that comes along with change. You’ve heard about HIIT workouts but what about relating that to workplace training, high intensity interval training, short sharp impactful interventions.  


Project based learning 

Posing a problem, or changing and allowing a team or individual to research and collaborate through  researching and discussion leads to a lot of learning. This reinforces capabilities and allows individuals to gain new skills. Motivation at work can be low at this time of year but add business closures into the mix along with furlough and teams could be left feeling very demotivated and uninspired. As a manager, having a few projects in mind to dish out is great for your team’s wellbeing too,allowing them to focus and get re-engaged. A phrase one of my Portuguse friends shared with me translates to “when we are not in war, we polish our guns”. This is what we have been doing at S4labour over the last few months, to ensure we give our customers and users the best onboarding experience possible when the industry opens up again. Suggested project topics could be related to service style, maintaining ‘hospitality’ in the masked environment, fun team bonding online sessions, inclusion and diversity or something as simple as create your own cocktail ideas. A lot of our customers are also taking this time to retrain/refresh their teams on S4labour and our free webinars were a great success to support this after the first lockdown. 


Emphasis on Communication and Collaboration Skills

More and more teams are now meeting in virtual and digital environments. Even after the pandemic this will remain the case. Something we have implemented in S4labour for our teams is a ‘Friday Huddle’ where we catch up socially, chat about our week over a cuppa and take it in turns to organise a quiz. We also share regular feedback and thank colleagues with praise and pass it on email. I recently took to the kitchen and posted out brownies to our team. We have been more deliberate with our communication because we are all working remotely. We are actually stronger as a team for it, something I’m sure will continue. department managers have been utilizing our Shift Success feature to share updates with us and the shift review function has been even more important to measure our teams happiness and wellbeing.


We have seen some amazing things our customers have been doing and are inspired by how passionate the sector is at supporting and training their people for success. It is such a win win, for the employee and the business. If you want to have a chat about training in your business, or think your teams would be more impactful with a bit of a refresher, then get in touch.

The True Cost of Furlough

The True Cost of Furlough

Furlough costs the UK Hospitality industry in excess of £542 million a month during lockdown – The True Cost of Furlough

Furlough has been a lifeline for so many businesses in the hospitality sector and beyond, however despite all that the scheme has done to ease the mass redundancies and retain jobs in the sector, it is clear that Furlough is not the free lunch it is sometimes portrayed as. Operators using the scheme benefit from a grant that covers up to 80% of their employee’s average earnings (probably the most simplistic way of describing the behemoth of complex exceptions, limits and grey areas associated with the CJRS). For many employees, this money will see them scrape through the crisis, albeit uneasily. However, for the employer, the ability to be able to keep teams employed comes with a cost and it is no insignificant amount.

For a start, the employer continues to pay National Insurance contributions, holiday is still accrued, and pension costs are not included in the grant. The total figure for average extra employment costs per month per site, over and above government furlough support, comes to: £3,738 which means the monthly furlough bill for hospitality comes to £542 million.

On top of employment costs, operators have rent to pay, utilities and insurance payments; government grants based on rateable value are available and are aimed at offsetting a large sum of bills, yet leave operators constantly out of pocket. There are also variable costs to using the Furlough scheme, such as cash flow costs owning to the fact that the scheme pays in arrears: operators are seeing the money leave their businesses, before being able to claim it back. For most businesses who have little or no expectations of trading profitably for the first 4-6 months of 2021, funding is becoming more and more critical.

Rob Pitcher, Chief Executive of Revolution Bars and user of S4labour said that the scheme, while welcome, has cost the business £1million at a time it has seen revenue vanish.

Sam Wignell Chief Customer Officer at S4labour added: “With the current levels of government support, businesses are going to run out of cash before they get the opportunity to reopen. The true cost of furlough is much higher than one might imagine.”

As featured in: