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April 2018 - Changes in Employment, Pensions & Immigration Law

Murray Keir
April 2018 sees the introduction of a number of statutory pay and fee increases. A summary of the key changes is outlined below.

April 2018 sees the introduction of a number of statutory pay and fee increases.   A summary of the key changes is outlined below. 

Yearly increases to rates of pay – from 6 April

National Minimum Wage

The minimum pay limits will increase to the following rates:

National Living Wage (25 and over)

Standard adult rate (21 plus)

Development rate (18 – 20)

Young workers rate (16 – 17)

Apprentice rate






Statutory Pay Rates

• Statutory Pay Rates increase to £145.18 per week for statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay.

• Statutory Sick Pay increases to £92.05 per week.

Tribunal compensation limits

• Statutory week's pay (used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and various other awards, including the basic and additional awards for unfair dismissal) will rise to £508;

• Separately, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will rise from £80,541 to £83,682.

Vento bands

For clams presented on or after 6 April 2018, the following bands will apply to injury to feelings awards:

• Lower band of £900 to £8,600

• Middle band of £8,000 to £25,700

• Upper band of £25,700 to 42,900

In exceptional circumstances, awards can exceed £42,900.

Automatic Enrolment – Increased contributions

Under auto-enrolment there are minimum contributions which must be made by both employers and employees.  Those minimum levels of contributions will increase with effect from 6 April 2018. Further increases will take place on 6 April 2019.

For a transitional period the legislation allows employers and employees to pay reduced contributions.  The contributions required during the transitional period and the relevant stages are set out in the table below:


Employer minimum contribution

Employee minimum contribution

Total minimum contribution

Employer's staging date –
5 April 2018




(including 1% employee contribution)

6 April 2018 –
5 April 2019




(including 3% employee contribution)

6 April 2019 onwards




(including 5% employee contribution)

Employers who have not taken action to meet this change should do so as soon as possible.

UKVI fee increases in April 2018

Finally, increases to UKVI fees will come into effect on 6 April 2018.  Legislation laid in Parliament on 16 March 2018 set out the increase. The key changes are as follows:

• Increased fees to work, study and visit routes by 4% (current Tier 2 (General) fee of £587 increasing to £610);

• Increased fees on nationality, settlement and family routes including premium services by 4% (current British nationality fee of £1,282 increasing to £1,330) ;

• Priority visa fees for entry clearance applications will increase by 15% (current priority visa fee of £184 increasing to £212);

• No fee increases to fees in relation to Sponsor Licences; and

• No fee increases to EEA based applications.

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