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Updates April 2018

Updates April 2018

BY Donald MacKinnon
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

As it is the new financial year, the statutory rates have been adjusted for the coming year. This includes the increase to the National Living and...

As it is the new financial year, the statutory rates have been adjusted for the coming year. This includes the increase to the National Living and Minimum Wage, amendment to the statutory rates for pension autoenrolment, the deadline for gender pay reporting plus others.

Many will be aware of this and will already be taking steps to adapt and ensure compliance. However, for those who are not aware of these changes, here is quick overview of what the main changes are and how you can react.

First is the increase to the National Living and Minimum Wage. This came into effect on Sunday 1st April. Please see the table from the government below that shows the new rates for each age group.


25 and over

21 to 24

18 to 20

Under 18


April 2018






The second amendment that will affect the most people is the change to pension autoenrolment.  From the 6th April, the minimum pension contribution will go up from 3% to 5%, of which at least 2% must be made by the employer. There have been worries that this will encourage more people to opt out of the scheme, as both employees and employers feel this is unaffordable and would prefer the cash for day to day spending, however only time will tell whether this will be the case. It is likely that your pension provider will have already been in touch regarding this, if not, please contact them and get actions to put in place.  It is also important to be aware that this will increase further to 8% in April 2019.  

A third and major milestone is the deadline for Gender Pay Reporting in the private sector. This only applies to organisations with over 250 employees so is not something smaller employers need to be particularly worried about. However, if this does apply to you and you are yet to act, please phone Empire and one of our consultants will be able to assist you.

Additionally, the statutory rates for Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay will increase from £140.98 to £145.18. The rate for Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £89.35 to £92.05 and the National Insurance lower earnings threshold to qualify for these payments will increase from £113 to £116 per week.

These are not the only changes that will come into effect this month but we hope this gives you the main points and guidance. Empire will be running a full employment law update in September that will look back at the changes we have seen so far this year and look forward to what is scheduled in the months to come. You will be notified of further details in due course.

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