April not only brings with it lighter evenings but also a number of employment changes that employers should be aware of.
As well as the well-publicised changes such as the introduction of gender pay gap reporting rules and the new apprenticeship levy, increases to some key employee entitlements should also be noted. Scroll down to download Employment Essentials, our summary booklet listing the key changes.
These changes should be incorporated into employer’s employment policies to avoid any penalties or potential tribunal action against them.
National Minimum Wage increase
As of 1 April 2017 the apprentice rate will rise to £3.50 (up by 10p), the minimum hourly rate for 16-17 year olds will increase to £4.05 (up by 5p), 18-20 year olds will be entitled to a minimum of £5.60 (a 5p rise) and 21-24 year olds must be paid at least £7.05 (an increase of 10p) per hour.
Employers who fail to pay their employees the national wage rates can face a penalty of up to £20,000 per worker.
National Living Wage rate increase
The National Living Wage (NLW) came into effect last year (at a rate of £7.20) and means that all workers aged over 25 are entitled to a minimum wage over and above the National Minimum Wage. The NLW rate for 2017 has increased to £7.50 per hour.
Employment tribunal awards increase
As of 6 April 2017, for unfair dismissal claims which have been brought to an employment tribunal, the maximum compensatory award has increased from £78,962 to £80,541. The basic award has increased to £14,670 (previously £14,370).
The compensation limit for a one-off redundancy pay has been increased to £14,670 (formerly £14,370). The maximum figure which is used to calculate redundancy payments has increased to £489 from £479.
Family friendly policies
The rates of pay that employees are eligible for when they take maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave has increased to £140.98 (from £139.98).
Prism is our fixed fee employment law solutions which are tailored specifically for SME employers. The various packages offer you the flexibility to access the expert advice you need without the worry of incurring unexpected fees, and enabling you to deal with matters before they become an issue for your business. Please contact a member of our employment team for information on the available options.
If you would like to discuss any of the above employment law changes our employment team will be happy to help.