April 2019 spells employer changes in wages - NYL

This month sees the roll-out of a number of changes around payments, payslips and pension contributions. These changes were all put forward by the Chancellor put in last year’s budget.

We’ve provided the key points around each of these changes below – but please do get in touch with us at North Yorkshire Law if you need some advice relating to employment law.

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

NMW rates were increased from 1st April 2019. This makes it imperative for employers to review and amend pay practices to ensure that all members of staff who receive NMW are on the correct rate for their age:

  • 25 years and over – £8.21 per hour;
  • 21 – 24 years – £7.70 per hour;
  • 18 – 20 years – £6.15 per hour;
  • Under 18 years – £4.35 per hour;
  • Apprentices – £3.90 per hour.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

SSP covers all employees, including agency, casual, part time and fixed-term workers – with the exception of the self-employed.

On 6th April 2019, SSP went up from £92.05 to £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks of absence. SSP is paid by the employer in the same way as normal wages, with tax and national insurance contributions deducted on top.

To be entitled to SSP, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit, which increased from £116 to £118 per week as of 6th April 2019.

Maternity, paternity, adoption & shared parental pay

Similarly, the rate of pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increased from £145.18 to £148.68 per week, as of 7th April 2019.

Again, to qualify for these payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the new lower earnings limit of £118 per week.


Statutory new laws now require all employers to:

  • Provide payslips to all workers;
  • Show hours on payslips where the pay varies by the amount of time worked;
  • Provide itemised pay statements to all workers, as of April 6th 2019, which include the total number of hours worked.

This means that payroll and HR departments will need to work in unison to ensure relevant staff receive their payslips in accordance with these new requirements.

Pension Contributions

When auto enrolment was introduced back in 2012, contributions were set at 1%. The idea was to ease people into saving without millions opting out.

Now, employers are increasing their contribution to 3% – and employees are being asked to increase their contribution to 5%.

Have you made the necessary changes? If you haven’t and need an expert eye to ensure you remain compliant as an employer, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team.