The following rate changes take effect in April:
Tribunal Awards and Redundancy Pay
From 6 April 2018, Tribunal award limits and redundancy pay calculations increase as follows:
• a week's pay - £508 (currently £489).
• maximum basic award/statutory redundancy payment - £15,240 (currently £14,670).
• maximum compensatory award - The lower of £83,682 (currently £80,541) or 52 weeks' pay.
The new rates apply where the relevant date occurs on or after 6 April (e.g. for unfair dismissal, the relevant date is the date of termination and not the date of the corresponding tribunal hearing).
Injury to Feelings Awards
Sums for ‘injury to feelings’ can be awarded by a Tribunal where a discrimination or whistleblowing claim is successful.
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland have updated the bands for awards for injury to feelings, known as the ‘Vento bands’.
In respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2018, the Vento bands are increased to: `
• a lower band of £900 to £8,600 (least serious cases);
• a middle band of £8,600 to £25,700 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band);
• an upper band of £25,700 to £42,900 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £42,900.
Statutory Payments Rates
• Family-related leave: the standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave pay increase to £145.18 per week (from £140.98) from 1 April. Maternity Allowance will increase by the same rate but not until 9 April; and
• Sick pay: the standard rate of statutory sick pay increases to £92.05 per week (from £89.35) from 6 April.
• National living wage: The national living wage for workers aged 25 and over will increase by 33p to £7.83 an hour. The rates of other minimum wage bands will also increase.
Acas has recently published its most recent quarterly statistics, covering nine months between April 2017 and December 2017.
The key point to note is that since the Supreme Court ruled against Employment Tribunal Fees, the number of notifications to ACAS rose from 1,700 notifications per week, to around 2,200 notifications per week. This is an increase of c26,000 notifications to ACAS per year, which indicates that employment litigation has undergone a marked increase since the Supreme Court’s decision in the middle of last year.
Please get in touch with one of the team if you wish to discuss further.