This month sees a number of legislative changes impacting pay and benefits packages. These include:
- The government-set national living wage for people aged 23 or older rose to £9.50 an hour on 1 April, which is a 6.6% increase on the previous rate of £8.91.
- The national minimum wage for those aged 21 to 22 has also risen from £8.36 an hour to £9.18 an hour, while those aged 18 to 20 have seen an increase to £6.83 from £6.56. Workers under 18 have had a rise from £4.62 to £4.81, and apprentices have an augmented rate of £4.81 from £4.30.
- From 3 April, the prescribed or flat rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay rose from £151.97 to £156.66 per week.
- On 6 April, statutory sick pay (SSP) will rise to £99.35 a week from the previous figure of £96.35. Workers who get Covid-19 will no longer be eligible for immediate SSP, as the temporary suspension of the three-day waiting period has been lifted. This also applies to the Employment and Support Allowance, as there will now be a seven day wait once more to claim it.
- From 6 April, eligible employees in Northern Ireland will be entitled to two weeks’ paid leave, with payment at the minimum statutory rate, following the death of a child under 18. This will provide Northern Irish workers with the same leave and pay entitlements as those in Britain.
- From 6 April, a 1.25% increase in national insurance contributions (NICs) for Class 1 and Class 4 contributors, comes into effect. This will be followed in July by a rise in the primary threshold from £9,880 to £12,570, which will see a typical employee save more than £330 and around 70% will pay less in NICs.