April update: employment law changes

April employment law changes

With April around the corner, there are a number of important changes you need to be aware of. From statutory increases to gender pay gap reporting, we’ve listed all of the areas you need to know about to stay on the right side of the law.

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

As of April 2018, the NMW rates will increase. To qualify for the NMW, individuals must be at least school leaving age. The new rates will be:

Age bracket Current rate April 2018 rate Percentage increase
21 to 24 year olds £7.05 £7.38 4.68%
18 to 20 year olds £5.60 £5.90 5.36%
16 to 17 year olds £4.05 £4.20 3.70%
Apprentices* £3.50 £3.70 5.71%


To be entitled to the apprentice rate, apprentices must be either under 19-years-old, or 19 or over and in their first year of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices will be entitled to the NMW if they’re 19 and over and have completed their first year of the apprenticeship.

National Living Wage (NLW)

The NLW will also increase in April, to £7.83 an hour – a 4.4% increase on the current rate (£7.50).

Both the NMW and NLW increases apply from the first pay period on or after 1 April 2018.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

From 6 April 2018, the weekly SSP rate will go up to £92.05 – a 3% increase on the current allowance (£89.35).

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)

As always, employees who qualify are entitled to 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first six weeks. Thereafter, as of 1 April 2018, they’re entitled to either £145.18 or 90% of their average weekly earnings – whichever is lower.

Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP) and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)

As of 1 April 2018, the weekly allowance for SSPP and SPP will rise to £145.18. Remember, you pay employees either the statutory amount or 90% of their average weekly earnings – whichever is lower.

Redundancy pay

As of 6 April 2018, the maximum week’s redundancy pay cap will increase to £508 – a 3.9% rise on the current amount (£489).

Statutory guarantee pay

From 6 April 2018 onwards, the daily statutory guarantee pay rate will be £28 (currently £27).

Employees are entitled to statutory guarantee pay during lay off or short-time working, and the maximum they’re entitled to is five days in any 13 week period. If the employee’s day rate is less than the statutory guarantee pay rate, then the lesser of the two is paid.

Employment tribunal awards

For relevant dates on or after 6th April 2018, basic awards will be equivalent to the statutory redundancy payment rate.

For compensatory awards, employees will be entitled to either £83,682 (up from £80,541) or 52 weeks’ gross pay for ‘ordinary’ unfair dismissals – whichever is lower.

For discriminatory dismissals, dismissals for carrying out Health & Safety activities and dismissals for making protected disclosures, compensatory awards are unlimited.

Gender pay gap reporting deadline

All businesses with 250 or more employees on their books must publish and report specific figures on their gender pay gap.

For public sector organisations the deadline is 31 March (2018) and for businesses and charities the deadline is 5 April (2018).

What is it? The gender pay gap is the difference in earnings between men and women.

What do you have to do? Your responsibilities are twofold:

  • You must publish your gender pay gap data, along with a written statement, on your public-facing website; and
  • Using this gender pay gap reporting service, you must declare your report to the government online.

What data must be published?

There are six datasets you must include in your report, and these are: mean gender pay gap; median gender pay gap; mean bonus gender pay gap; median bonus gender pay gap; proportion of males and females receiving bonus payments; and proportion of males and females in each pay quartile.

The data should normally be accompanied by a narrative to put it into context.

What’s a written statement?

If you’re a business or charity, you must publish a written statement alongside your gender pay gap data. Your statement is your declaration that the information you’ve issued is accurate, and it must be signed by an ‘appropriate person’ – your appropriate person will differ depending on the type of business you are.

Got a question?

For more information, if you’re a Citation client, you’ll have a gender pay gap reporting factsheet available in our online platform, as well as a spreadsheet to help you make your calculations. And remember, our experts are available 24/7 with our advice line.

If you’re not yet a client, you can get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or hello@citation.co.uk.

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