national minimum wage

Legal time table | Upcoming changes

Changes to the national minimum wage/statutory rates

On April 1st 2019, the national minimum wage is set to change, with those eligible of receiving the national living wage seeing an increase of 4.9% from £7.83 to £8.21.


The increase is set the hand the average full-time worker a £690 annual pay increase.  It has been said that these changes will be beneficial to approximately 2.4 million UK workers.


In addition to the changes in the national living wage, the following increases will also come into play.


AgeMinimum hourly rate 2018-19Increased hourly rate 2019-20
25 and over£7.83£8.21
21 to 24£7.38£7.70
18 to 20£5.90£6.15
Under 18£4.20£4.35


Flexible working introduced in the armed forces | 1 April 2019


Service personnel will be able to apply for enhanced flexible working opportunities. The bill which was passed on the 8th February 2018 will become law in April 2019 and will allow some military personnel to serve part-time for certain periods. The bill was passed after consultation within the Armed Forces found more personnel want a greater choice over the way they serve their time due to personal circumstances e.g. having children.


The plans which will come into effect in April are part of numerous methods the Armed Forces are implementing in order to become more modern and diverse.


Employment tribunal award limits increase | 6 April 2019


Tribunal compensation limits increase at the start of April. The new rates are:

  • Limit on guaranteed payments – £29
  • Limit on a week’s pay – £525
  • Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment – £15,750
  • Minimum basic award for unfair dismissal – £6,408
  • Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal – £86,444


Requirement for payslips to state hours worked where pay varies | 6 April 2019


On the 6th April two new laws will come into effect that change the Employment Rights Act of 1996. These new changes will effect information on pay slips. The changes are:


  • Employers must include the total number of hours worked where the pay varies according the hours worked, for example under variable hours or zero hours contracts.
  • Payslips must be given to ‘workers’ and not just employees.


Maximum penalty for aggravated breach increases to £20,000 | 6 April 2019


In December 2018, the government published the ‘good work plan’ which made a commitment to increase the punishments for employers who repeatedly breach employment law. Tribunals have the power to impose a £5,000 ‘aggravated breach’ penalty on employers losing cases, and from April, the maximum limit on these penalties will increase to £20,000.


Lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions increases | 6 April 2019


In the Budget announcement in 2018 the following changes were announced to the amount that is contributed to National Insurance:


  • The weekly Lower Earnings Limit increases to £118 (from £116)
  • The weekly primary and secondary thresholds increase to £166 (from £162)
  • The Upper Earnings Limit , Upper Secondary Threshold  for under 21’s and Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold for under 25’s increase to £962 a week (from £892)


Statutory sick pay rises | 6 April 2019


The standard rate of sick pay will change in April, increasing the amount that an individual is paid whilst off work sick:


  • Statutory sick pay (SSP) rises from £92.05 to £94.25 on 6 April 2019.
  • The lower earnings limit rises from £116 to £118 on the same date.


Statutory maternity pay and other family-related statutory pay rates increase | 7 April 2019


In April the rates which parents will be payed for either having a child or adopting a child will rise.


Statutory maternity (SMP), paternity (SPP), adoption (SAP) and shared parental pay (ShPP) rises from £145.18 to £146.68 a week. The lower earnings limit rises from £116 to £118


As an employer, it is important that you ensure that you are proactive in making these changes within your business. If you require any assistance in reviewing contracts or calculating rates of pay, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the High Performance team.


Phone: 0844 800 5932


Twitter: @HPC_HRservices

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