Employment Law Advice and Support for Employers – April 2018 Changes

Is your business prepared for the increases to the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and other statutory payments in April 2018?

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Increases from April 2018 are 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 as follows:

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

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.

There was an expectation that GPs would make the most referrals but employers were also able to refer employees who were sick for longer than 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.  The advice line will remain open.

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