National Minimum Wage 2021

 The National Minimum Wage (NMW) has increased. 

*With the introduction of the National Living Wage from the 1st April 2018 - the age limit for the National Minimum Wage changed from "21 and over" to "21 - 24".

Age Category From 1st April 2020 From 6th April 2021
21 - 24*  £8.20 £8.36
18 - 20 £6.45 £6.56
16 - 17 £4.55 £4.62
Apprentice rate** £4.15 £4.15

**This rate is for apprentices under 19 or those in their first year. If you’re 19 or over and past your first year you get the rate that applies to your age.

National Living Wage

The Government's National Living Wage was introduced from the 1st April 2016, and now covers all working people aged 23 years and over.

The new rate as from the 6th April 2021 will be £8.91.

The government also introduced a penalty, which would be imposed against any employer, who continues to pay below the correct hourly rate to any eligible employee(s). The penalty imposed could be up to £20,000 per employee who is or has been underpaid since the 1st April 2016.

The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 23 will continue to apply. [See above.]

Travelling and Subsistence 2021/2022

A copy of the Travelling and Subsistence letter 2021-2022 is available to download below.

Compensation Limits for 2021/22

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2021 will take effect from the 6th April 2021. The Order applies to certain awards of Employment Tribunals and to other amounts payable under employment legislation.

The rates are:

The maximum amount of a 'week's pay' for the purpose of calculating a Redundancy Payment or for the basic or additional award of compensation for Unfair Dismissal claims or for payments to employees in the event of a company going into insolvency is £544.
The limit on the daily amount of Statutory Guarantee Payment is £30.00.
 

The Government's rates for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) are for the tax year 2021 / 2022. The rates have increased to the figures below:

The standard weekly rate of SMP and the weekly rates of SPP, SAP and Maternity Allowance is £151.97.
The weekly rate of SSP is £96.35.
The lower earnings limit for qualifying for SSP, SMP, SPP and SAP is £120.00 per week.

Penalties for Using Mobile Phones While Driving has Increased

From 1st March 2017, drivers using a phone while driving will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. This is up from the previous three points and £100 penalty.

Motorists caught using their mobile twice, or accruing 12 points on their licence, will face magistrates’ court, being disqualified and fines of up to £1,000.

New drivers, within two years of passing their test, risk having their licence revoked and lorry drivers can face action by the Traffic Commissioner as well.

These penalties have taken effect in England, Scotland and Wales. 

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

New requirements for large businesses to report their gender pay gaps (GPGs) came into force in April 2017. 

The reporting rules will apply to all private and voluntary sector employers in England, Wales and Scotland with at least 250 employees. 

Employers caught by the regulations will be required to publish their overall mean and median pay gaps based on gross hourly pay for men and women, expressed as a percentage; as well as their mean and median gender bonus gaps. They will also be required to publish the proportion of male and female employees within each 'quartile' of their pay distribution, as well as the proportion of men and women that have been paid a bonus in the preceding 12 month period. 

The legislation clarifies the definition of 'employees' to include anyone in a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work. It therefore potentially includes those with 'worker', rather than employee, status, and the self-employed. A clearer definition of pay and a step by step guide to the calculation of 'hourly rate of pay' is also included. 'Bonus pay' is also defined more clearly, together with when remuneration in the form of securities and options should be taken into account. 

Employers will be required to calculate their first gaps and salary quartiles using the pay period within which the 'snapshot date' of the 5th April falls. Data must be published by the 4th April 2018 at the latest, and then again by the 4th April every year. Employers will be required to publish details of their pay gaps on their websites as well as upload the information to a government website; and a director, partner or equivalent would have to sign off the data. 

A failure to comply with any of the new obligations will constitute an 'unlawful act' as defined by the 2006 Equality Act. This means that the Equality and Human Rights Commission would have the power to take enforcement action against firms for breaches of the regulations. Compliance notices issued by the Commission can be enforced by the courts.

Drug Driving Law

New Drug Driving Legislation came into effect from 2nd March 2015, and only covered England and Wales.

The following link from the Department for Transport (DfT) summarises the legislation.

Drug Driving Law Summary

Employment Documents and Information to Download