• Increases to NMW and other employment law rates

    This month increases to employment rates and limits come into effect in line with inflation rates, which have been historically extremely high causing a cost of living crisis.

    These rises impact statutory redundancy payments, national minimum wage rates and employment tribunal awards.

    The most important ones for employers and employees to take note of are as follows:

    National Minimum Wage

    From 1 April 2024, the national minimum wage rates (including the national living wage rate) are:

    • for workers aged 21 and over £11.44 per hour;
    • for workers aged 18 to 20 £8.60 per hour; and
    • for workers aged under 18 £6.40 per hour.

    For apprentices, the minimum hourly rate increases to £6.40. This applies to apprentices who are below the age of 19, or apprentices who are 19 and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

    The daily rate for the accommodation offset limit also increases to £9.99. The accommodation offset limit is the maximum amount an employer can subtract from an employee’s pay for any accommodation provided by the employer.

    Statutory Sick Pay

    From 6 April 2024, statutory sick pay increases £116.75 per week. Generally, employers cannot recover statutory sick pay from HMRC.

    Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay

    From 7 April 2024, statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay is £184.03 per week. Employers can reclaim all or most of these statutory payments from HMRC.

    Limits on Employment Tribunal Awards

    As of 6 April 2024:

    • the maximum amount of a week’s pay (used for calculating statutory redundancy payments and various awards including the unfair dismissal basic and compensatory awards) is £700; and
    • the maximum compensatory award for an unfair dismissal claim (provided it falls below the additional cap on the compensatory award of 52 weeks’ pay) is £115,115.

    Vento Bands for Injury to Feelings

    The Vento bands, which provide the guidelines for employment tribunals determining awards for injury to feelings in discrimination (and certain other) cases made on or after 6 April 2024 are now:

    • Lower band (for less serious cases): £1,200 to £11,700
    • Middle band (for cases not warranting an upper band award): £11,700 to £35,200
    • Upper band (for the most serious cases): £35,200 to £58,700

    In exceptional cases an award may exceed £58,700.

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