Statutory Rate Increases, National Living Wage, Apprenticeship Levy and Gender Pay Reporting

Welcome to my latest Small Business Employment Law Update for an easy-to-read overview of the main employment law changes affecting the smaller business. In future issues I will keep you posted on HR implications of the EU exit negotiations (including possible changes to the working time directive, TUPE and immigration).


The National Living Wage increases to £7.50 per hour (the second increase in six months). The National Minimum Wage for 21-24 year olds increases to £7.05 per hour; for 18 to 20 year olds to £5.60 an hour; for 16-17 year olds to £4.05 an hour and the apprenticeship rate increases to £3.50 an hour

Kay’s comment: Remember to factor in increases to other costs such as NIC and pension contributions. Going forward the NMW and NLW rates will both be reviewed annually in April. Penalties for NMW and NLW breaches are now 200% of arrears owed to workers, with the maximum penalty set at £20,000 per worker. HMRC are also actively naming and shaming employers.


Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Pay goes from £139.58 to £140.98 per week (2nd April 2017)

Statutory Sick Pay goes from £88.45 to £89.35 per week and the Statutory Redundancy Pay maximum allowance goes from £479 to £489 per week (from 6th April 2017)


The apprenticeship levy comes into effect to fund apprenticeship training. This is only applicable for larger employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million. Employers in England that pay the levy will be able to access funding through a digital service expected to be operational from 1st May.

Kay’s comment: Employers with fewer than 50 employees will not be required to pay a contribution to the cost of the apprenticeship where the apprentice is aged 16-18, or 19-24 if previously in care or has a local authority education, health and care plan. The CIPD has produced the following useful guide: FREE RESOURCE: Apprenticeships that Work

GENDER PAY REPORTING (6th April 2017, first reports due by 2018)

Larger employers (those with 250 or more employees) have to publish data about their gender pay gap, including bonus payments.

Kay’s comment: The Gender Pay Gap is an issue for all employers large and small. Find out how you can do your bit to help close the Gap FREE RESOURCE: Why is there still a Gender Pay Gap?


FREE RESOURCE: Tax-free Childcare Information Hub 

POSSIBLE FUTURE LEGISLATION: An extension of Shared Parental Leave is likely to include grandparents by 2018 and two weeks’ Parental Bereavement Leave is currently being considered via a Private Members Bill.

NEW IDEAS: How to Make Learning Stick Find out what you can do to help staff retain and apply new skills they learn on training courses.

If you require any help with the HR and employment law topics covered in this Small Business Employment Law Update, please call me on: 01952 246612 or email:

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Please Note: The information contained in this e-newsletter is provided for your general use only.  It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.

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