Today sees a national minimum wage increase in the UK. If you’re 23 or over, you should now be paid at least £9.50/hour.
There have been plenty of warnings of the national minimum wage increase, so there shouldn’t really be any surprises for employers, but it’s not uncommon for smaller businesses to fall foul of the law by being slow to respond.
It is true that in the UK we have a lot of rules governing the rights and entitlements of employees and, whether knowingly or as a result of ignorance, employers can quite easily get it wrong.
In my experience employers can tie themselves in knots, interpreting the regulations in an overcomplicated way. Simple is usually best. To get the basics right my advice to employers would be to make sure the following is in place:
- New national minimum wage
From 1 April 2022 the national minimum wage increase means that workers aged:
– 23 and over should be paid £9.50/hour
– 21 to 22-year-olds, £9.18/hour
– 18 to 20-year-olds, £6.83/hour
– under 18s and apprentices £4.81/hour
- Statement of terms
All workers (not just employees) must be provided with a statement of terms within two months of starting a job. The terms should set out details relating to working days and hours, paid leave entitlement, pay and benefits, any probationary period and any training requirements.
Payslips must be given to all workers (not just employees). The total number of hours worked must be stated on the payslip.
- Holiday pay
Paid annual leave is a legal right that an employer must provide.
The statutory annual leave entitlement for employees who work a five-day week is a minimum of 28 days or 5.6 weeks per year. Part-time staff are also entitled to 5.6 weeks paid leave pro-rata, but this will amount to fewer days.
Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave. An employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.
In my view there is no need for employers to fall foul of the law. All you need to do is invest a little time in establishing good processes to ensure the essential steps set out above are all observed.
If you’re an employer who is concerned about whether you are meeting all of your requirements, if you have questions about the new national minimum wage or if you require advice on any aspect of employment law, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Stoke-on-Trent solicitors on 01782 205000, our Altrincham solicitors on 0161 929 8446 or our Birmingham solicitors on 0121 516 3025. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.