As we head into Spring the latest set of employment law changes are set to come fast, with the first of these being a change in national minimum wage (NMW) rates.
From 1st April 2019, the national living wage (NLW) for those aged 25 years and over will increase to £8.21 per hour. Minimum wage rates will also increase across the various age categories, rising to £7.70 per hour for 21-24 year olds, £6.15 per hour for 18-20 year olds and £4.35 per hour for those over the compulsory school age but not yet 18. The apprenticeship rate for those under the age of 19, or 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship, will also increase to £3.90 per hour.
From your client’s point of view, it will be important to make sure that staff are paid the correct rate. These changes will apply to any pay reference periods that begin on or after 1st April, which means your client’s HR and payroll representatives will need to work in unison to identify individuals who earn the NMW, or close to this rate, and ensure their salaries are increased accordingly.
Your client should be aware that a failure to amend minimum pay rates accordingly will leave them open to claims in the employment tribunal and with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The latest set of employment tribunal (ET) figures from October-December 2018 shows that in relation to wages continue to increase as staff becomes more aware of their rights, with over 4,000 claims made during this period alone.