UK Employment Law Changes – What’s Coming Into Force in April?

    View Authors March 2017

    A quick reminder of the key employment law changes coming into effect next month.

    National Living Wage

    The rate of the compulsory National Living Wage for adults aged 25 and over will increase from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour on 1 April 2017.

    The revised National Minimum Wage rates that will also take effect on 1 April 2017 are:

    • Adult rate (workers aged 21-24) to increase from £6.95 to £7.05 per hour
    • Workers aged 18-20 to increase from £5.55 to £5.60
    • Workers aged 16 and 17 to increase from £4.00 to £4.05
    • Apprentices to increase from £3.40 to £3.50

    Increased benefit rates for 2017/18

    On 2 April 2017, SMP, SAP, SPP and SSPP will increase from £139.58 to £140.98.

    On 6 April 2017 SSP will increase from £88.45 to £89.35.

    Tribunal compensation limits

    New limits on certain Employment Tribunal awards will come into force on 6 April 2017. The two key changes are:

    • The limit on the compensatory award for "ordinary" unfair dismissal will increase from £78,962 to £80,541
    • The maximum amount of a week's pay for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy payments and the unfair dismissal basic award increases from £479 to £489

    These new limits will apply to dismissals on or after 6 April 2017.

    Note that the cap on the compensatory award for “ordinary” unfair dismissal is the lower of the statutory limit set out above and 52 weeks’ pay of the individual concerned.

    Gender pay gap reporting

    Mandatory gender pay gap reporting will come into force on 6 April 2017. Private and voluntary sector employers in Great Britain with at least 250 employees will be required to publish pay information of employees for the purpose of showing any differences in pay by gender.

    Apprenticeship Levy

    The Apprenticeship Levy is a new charge that will be imposed predominantly on larger employers to help fund the UK government’s commitment to create more apprenticeships. The new levy will be introduced from 6 April 2017.