ARTICLE
12 April 2024

April Roundup: Key Changes To Rates, Pensions And Employment Law In England And Wales

LM
Littler Mendelson

Contributor

With more than 1,800 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow
The new tax year is swiftly approaching, along with new statutory rates, limits and changes to employment law in England and Wales that HR practitioners should be aware of.
UK Employment and HR
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

The new tax year is swiftly approaching, along with new statutory rates, limits and changes to employment law in England and Wales that HR practitioners should be aware of.

Annual rates and limits increases

The usual annual updates to the statutory rates and limits will come into effect in early April 2024.

Here are the key changes:

Update Effective date Old rate New rate
National Living Wage (for employees aged 21 and above) April 1, 2024 £10.18 (if aged 21-22) or £10.42 (if aged 23 and above) £11.44 (all employees aged 21 and above)
National Minimum Wage (for employees aged 18-20 inclusive) April 1, 2024 £7.49 £8.60
National Minimum Wage (for employees aged under 18 but above compulsory school leaving age) April 1, 2024 £5.28 £6.40
Apprentices aged under 19, or aged 19 and over in their first apprenticeship year April 1, 2024 £5.28 £6.40
Maximum unfair dismissal payment (basic award) April 6, 2024 £19,290 £21,000
Maximum unfair dismissal payment (compensatory award) April 6, 2024 £105,707 £115,115
Maximum statutory redundancy payment April 6, 2024 £19,290 £21,000
Statutory sick pay (weekly) April 6, 2024 £109.40 £116.75
Cap on a week's pay (for calculating unfair dismissal basic award, redundancy pay and other figures) April 6, 2024 £643 £700
"Prescribed rate" for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, and shared parental leave pay (weekly) April 7, 2024 £172.48 £184.03
Statutory parental bereavement pay (weekly) April 7, 2024 £172.48 £184.03

In addition, the exemption from the National Minimum Wage for live-in domestic workers will be revoked from April 1, 2024 and such workers will be entitled to National Living Wage (or National Minimum Wage depending on their age).

The Government has also confirmed that from April 6, 2024, the main rate of primary Class 1 National Insurance contributions will reduce from 10% to 8%.

Pensions

The government has confirmed that there will not be any changes to the auto-enrolment earnings trigger or qualifying earnings bands for the new 2024/25 tax year.

This means workers still need to have at least £10,000 of qualifying earnings to be eligible for auto-enrolment or re-enrolment.

In addition, the lower end of the qualifying earnings band will remain at £6,240 and the upper end of the qualifying earnings band will remain at £50,270.

Gender pay gap reporting deadline

The deadline for private companies with more than 250 employees to issue a gender pay gap report is April 4, 2024.

Important changes to employment law

April is looking busy for updates to employment law. Employers may need to create new policies and/or update existing handbooks and procedures to reflect the following developments:

  • Carer's Leave: From April 6, 2024, employees will have a new "day 1" right to take up to one week of unpaid Carer's leave each year to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. Leave can be taken in flexible blocks of full or half days and does not have to be taken consecutively. For more detail see our article on Carer's leave here.
  • Paternity Leave: Parents of children whose expected week of childbirth (or the expected date of placement in adoption cases) is on or after April 6, 2024 will benefit from the changes to the paternity leave regime, including greater flexibility to take paternity leave at any point in the 52 weeks after birth (rather than just in the first 56 days) and in two separate blocks of one week (rather than a single block of one or two weeks). We have looked at these changes in more detail here.
  • Flexible Working: Flexible working is set to become a "day 1" right for all UK employees from April 6, 2024. Procedural changes to making a flexible working request set out in the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 are anticipated to also come into force on April 6, 2024 – although this hasn't yet been confirmed. Acas have published a revised code of practice on requests for flexible working requests, which is "expected to come into effect on 6 April 2024". We've previously written about the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 in more detail, which can be found here.
  • Extension of protection from redundancy for pregnant employees and employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave: On April 6, 2024, the Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will come into effect and will extend the existing right – to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy (if available) before being made redundant during maternity, adoption or shared parental leave – to "during or after" such periods of leave and to "during or after" a protected period of pregnancy. Employers considering any redundancy exercises on or after April 6, 2024 should bear this in mind given that a wider group of employees will be protected under the new rules. For further information on these changes, see our in-depth discussion of this topic here.
  • Holiday carry over and new rules for irregular hours workers and part-year workers: For annual leave years beginning on or after April 1, 2024, a new holiday entitlement and pay regime applies to "irregular hours workers" and "part-year workers." This is a complex and new area of law and employers should seek advice if they think this applies to their workforce. For more detail on these changes, see here. Additionally, employers should remember that the Covid-19 holiday carry over exemption was removed earlier this year, and any holiday carried over under those rules must be used by March 31, 2024, or it will be lost.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

ARTICLE
12 April 2024

April Roundup: Key Changes To Rates, Pensions And Employment Law In England And Wales

UK Employment and HR

Contributor

With more than 1,800 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow
See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More