Statutory pay rates: Advice for employers ahead of April’s increases
?Employment law expert and head of advisory at Peninsula, Kate Palmer, provides her advice for employers after the government announced various new rates of statutory pay that will come into force this April.
April is always a busy time for small businesses. For the majority it’s the start of the new financial year, as well as the beginning of the holiday year for staff, meaning administrative tasks and paperwork can start to pile up.
During this busy period, the new statutory pay rates come in to force. it’s important that employers remain aware of these to ensure they’re correctly meeting their employees? statutory rights.
Each year, the Department for Work and Pensions carries out a review of the current statutory pay rates and makes proposals for the following financial year.
The government does not have to accept these proposals, however in most years, they accept them without making further changes.
The proposed statutory rates for April 2018 were published in a ministerial statement in November 2017, and the confirmed figures have now been included in the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2018.
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The Order confirms that weekly rates of statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) will all increase from 140.98 to 145.18.
These new pay rates will take effect from the 1 April 2018, giving greater pay to employees on family friendly leave. Employees who are absent from work due to sickness will also receive increased pay from April, as statutory sick pay (SSP) rises.
From 6 April 2018, SSP will be payable at 92.05 a week, up from 89.35 a week currently. In order to be eligible to receive these statutory payments, employees will have to earn the lower earnings limit (LEL) of 116 per week from 6 April an increase from the current figure of 113 per week.
Kate Palmer CIPD is the head of advisory at law firm Peninsula and is a member of its senior leadership team. She joined in 2009 having held a senior HR manager's role in another large company. With a specialist background in facilities management in the NHS, Kate offers a wealth of employment law experience. She's an expert negotiator - one notable case was with the NHS's trade unions over terms and conditions in the Agenda for Change pay system.
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