Important employment law developments in April

NMW, SSP and family friendly rate changes, gender pay gap reporting, tribunal awards, pension auto-enrolment, taxation payments

National Minimum Wage Rates 

 National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates will change on 1 April as follows:

  • 25 and over - £7.83 per hour

  • 21-24 years old - £7.38 per hour

  • 18-20 years old - £5.90 per hour

  • over compulsory school age but not 18 - £4.20 per hour

  • relevant apprentices - £3.70 per hour

Family friendly payment rates 

Those eligible for statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) will see their weekly entitlement rise from £140.98 to £145.18. These increases are considered to be a way of improving the financial security of young families, however organisations are reminded that they also retain the ability to offer further increased rates of pay for their staff as a way of maintaining a competitive benefits scheme.

Gender pay gap reporting 

Much has been made of the gender pay gap reporting requirements and private sector organisations with over 250 employees are reminded they have until 4 April to publish their figures online. Recent reports have shown that only a third of the 6,000 eligible companies have published their figures. Public sector organisations must publish by 30th March 2018.

Statutory Sick Pay 

From 6 April statutory sick pay will increase to £92.05 a week from £89.25. The earnings boundary which in part determines an employee’s entitlement to SSP has also increased to £116 a week.

Tribunal awards

On 6 April, the maximum tribunal award amounts will increase Most notably, the new maximum award for an unfair dismissal, including the maximum basic and compensatory award, will increase to £98,922. These increases come at a time when organisations face a growing threat of employment tribunal claims with the removal of fees directly resulting in a 90% increase in claims from the same time in 2017.

Pension auto-enrolment 

The new tax year also signifies a rise in minimum automatic enrolment (AE) contributions that organisations must pay towards their employee’s pensions. From 6 April both employers and employees will have to contribute a combined 5% of an individual’s overall earnings. Employers have to contribute 2% whilst the employees are responsible for contributing the remaining 3% themselves through automatic wage deductions. Failure to abide by these changes could lead to government fines and public notoriety for your organisation.

Taxation payments

From 6 April all payments in lieu of notice will be subject to income tax and National Insurance Contributions regardless of whether the right to pay is contractual o

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