It’s that time of year again. Not only is it the start of a new fiscal year, but April 2018 sees some key developments in employment law. While our recruitment clients are well prepared for these changes, we’ve rounded up the information that everyone needs to know and what it means for businesses and employees alike.
National minimum wage has increased
From Easter Monday we will see the National Living Wage increase by 33p per hour, taking it from £7.50 to £7.83 for people over 25 years old. The Treasury claims the rise will leave workers paid at a basic level £600 better off a year. Additionally, we will also see a minimum wage raise for those aged 16-24, as well as paid apprenticeship rates increase by 20p per hour. Read more about it here.
Gender pay gap reporting deadline
We’ve heard a lot about gender pay gap reporting, and April 2018 sees the deadline for employers to publish those all-important details they’ve been calculating since April 2017. Under the new laws, large employers have to share their overall mean and median gender pay gaps every year from 2018 onwards. The EHRC stated it would write to any and all organisations that fail to comply by 9th April. From that point, they will be given 28 days to comply before an investigation takes place and an unlawful act notice is issued, potentially leading to an unlimited fine decided by the courts. Read more about it here.
Increase to tribunal awards
From 6th April 2018, employers who lose claims at tribunal will have to pay more compensation due to maximum limits receiving an annual update. Not only will it be more expensive to make employees redundant, but if a dismissal is found to be unfair by an employment tribunal, the potential compensation payable will also increase. While each year we see employment tribunal awards change in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI), this year has seen an unusually high increase due to high inflation at the end of 2017. Read more about it here.
Auto-enrolment contributions on the rise
From 5th April 2018, minimum auto-enrolment contributions increase, introduced in three stages known as phasing. The minimum contribution up until 5th April was 2% with at least 1% from the employer and this increase takes it to 5% with at least 2% from the employer until 6th April 2019 where it will increase further to 8% with at least 3% from the employer. Read more about it here.