The past few months have seen employment law and HR specialists focusing mostly on Brexit and the coronavirus employment measures. As April approaches, there are other changes which employment law professionals should be mindful of.
Statutory Sick Pay (known as ‘SSP’) is used when employees are off work. SSP has been used more in the past year with employees needing time off to self-isolate. For employees who are eligible to get SSP – where they earn an average of £120 a week and are ill for four consecutive days, then it currently covers up to 28 weeks. The changes coming in April will see the amount that employees receive on SSP per week rising to £96.35 taking effect on 6th April 2021. As the self-isolating regulations are still in place, this is still covered in the April changes.
Another change coming on the 6th of April 2021 are employment tribunal compensation rates. The maximum week’s pay for redundancy pay purposes will increase from £538 to £544, which means that the maximum amount for both basic unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy pay awards will be £16,320. The compensatory award for compensating any claimant who has suffered or will suffer a financial detriment because of the dismissal has a new maximum of £89,493. Another change in amounts for employment specialists to consider is the amount available for employees bringing a claim where their employer has not followed the tribunal’s instruction. The employee’s weekly earnings are taken into consideration and the amount available will rise to £28,288.
Another employment law change coming up in April will be an increase in National Living Wage (‘NLW’). The NLW will increase to £8.91 from £8.72 and 23- and 24-year-olds are also included under this umbrella. The rate for apprentices will increase from £4.15 to £4.30, with an increase of 3.6%, the highest percentage out of the groups. Though, this is a great step forward as youth unemployment is a massive worry as a result of the pandemic. All of these changes will be taking effect in April 2021.