Update

Employment law changes you need to be aware of for April 2018

There are always key developments in the world of employment law that you need to be aware of to ensure that your business is prepared. The clock’s ticking when it comes to ensuring your compliance, and we’re keen to make sure that you’ve got the knowledge, understanding and support that you need to smoothly guide your business through the changes. Let’s take a look at the big things that you need to be prepared for this April…

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases
From 1 April 2018, National Minimum Wages and National Living Wage Rates will increase as follows:

  • Workers aged 25 and over:  £7.83 an hour (National Living Wage)
  • Workers aged 21 and over:  £7.38 an hour
  • Development rate for workers aged 18-20:  £5.90 an hour
  • Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17:  £4.20 an hour
  • Apprentice rate:  £3.70 an hour

Increases in Statutory Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Shared Parental Pay and Adoption Pay
The increased rates for those who meet the qualifying criteria are effective April 2018 are:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay- 39 weeks at 90% of gross weekly pay up to a maximum of £145.18 a week, increasing from £140.98 a week after the first 6 weeks.
  • Statutory Paternity Pay- the lower of £145.18 a week, increasing from £140.98 a week or 90% of average weekly pay.
  • Statutory Shared Parental Pay- the lower of £145.18 a week, increasing from £140.98 a week or 90% of average weekly pay
  • Statutory Adoption Pay- 39 weeks at 90% of gross weekly pay up to a maximum of £145.18 a week, increasing from £140.98 a week after the first 6 weeks
  • Statutory Sick Pay- Statutory sick pay (SSP) will rise from £89.35 to £92.05. The lower earnings limit will rise from £113 to £116

The first gender pay gap reporting deadline
If you run a private or voluntary sector organisation with 250 or more employees, you need to publish your first gender pay gap report by 4thApril 2018. For public sector employers of the same size, the deadline is 30th March 2018. The reports must be published on the company website, and also a dedicated government website.
Pay data from 2016 and 2017 will be covered, and necessary figures include the differences in mean pay, median pay, mean bonus pay, and median bonus pay, between male and female employees. 

Fit for Work assessment ends
In December 2017 the government announced the end of the ‘Fit for work’ assessment scheme which began in 2014 and consisted of a free information service to provide advice on health, work, and managing sickness absence and a free occupational health assessment service for long term sick employees who had reached, or were expected to reach a sick absence of four weeks. The government has said that the referral rate is low and as a result the assessment service will end on 31st March 2018 in England and Wales and on 31st May in Scotland.

For many businesses, the changes on the horizon will mean a review of administrative procedures to ensure that there’s a smooth transition to the higher rate for any employees who are eligible. Of course, budgeting and operational considerations will also have a place here, so employers can focus on creating a great return on their staffing investment.

If you need help, get in touch today to arrange an initial no-obligation consultation. We can provide advice and guidance on any people management issues that are at play in your business right now.