National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will increase on April 1st. Those aged over 25 on the National Living Wage will benefit from an increase of 4.4%, with hourly payments rising from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 an hour. Younger workers and apprentices will also benefit from similar improvements, with the new rates as follows:
- 21-24 years old – £7.38 per hour
- 18-20 years old – £5.90 per hour
- Over compulsory school age – £4.20 per hour
- Apprentice – £3.70 per hour
There is likely to be added attention surrounding the incoming wage increases due to the release of the government’s latest ‘naming and shaming’ list of those employers who failed to pay staff minimum wage. The government is increasing enforcement in this area and substantial financial penalties can be issued to your clients if they fail to meet the new legal requirements.
1st April will also see the introduction of a new set of ‘family friendly’ pay rates. Increases will be made to the weekly rates of statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP). These rates will all rise from £140.98 per week to £145.18 per week and are seen as particularly important in providing added support to workers with families.
Coinciding with the next tax year of 6th April, statutory sick pay (SSP) will also rise from £89.35 a week to £92.05 a week. Having previously been described as ‘manifestly inadequate’ by the European Committee of Social Rights, this represents an attempt to increase the financial security of employees who will now have to earn at least £116 a week to be eligible for SSP and the family-friendly rates. Your clients should review and update any workplace policies which relate to these family-friendly pay rates ahead of the deadline.