The 6 April is a day for change for employers because it is one of the Government's two annual 'common commencement dates'.
Pay rates increase
The annual increase in statutory payments for sick pay, maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay took place on 6 April. The weekly rate of statutory sick pay is now £87.55 and statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional paternity pay and adoption pay is now £138.18 a week.
Statutory compensation limits increase
The maximum compensatory award for an unfair dismissal claim will increase to £76,574 (n.b. the secondary cap of a maximum of 12 months' will still apply so that the most that can be awarded in a standard unfair dismissal claim will be the lower of £76,574 or 12 months' pay). In addition, a week's pay (which is used for calculating statutory redundancy payments and basic awards) will increase from £450 to £464.
Financial penalties for employers
This April also saw the introduction of the ability for employment tribunals to award financial penalties up to £5,000 on employers found to have breached employment law where the tribunal considers that the breach had 'one or more aggravating features'.
Recovery of sick pay
The abolition of the statutory sick pay percentage threshold scheme also took place. This scheme enabled employers to recover amounts of statutory sick pay. Transitional and saving provisions enable employers to continue recovery of statutory sick pay until 6 April 2016 for days of incapacity falling before 6 April 2014.