This month, the latest instalment of annual increases relating to the minimum wage, the maximum claim amounts awarded in the Employment Tribunal and other statutory rates takes effect. We set out below the main rates and limits that employers should be aware of.

1. Increase in minimum wage

The national minimum wage increased from £10.42 to £11.44 on 1 April. The UK Government accepted in full the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (“LPC”) in respect of rates for the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) which were published in the LPC’s Summary of Evidence 2023.

These new rates will need to be applied to new and existing employment contracts for all employees who are subject to remuneration at any of the NMW bands.

The rates which apply from 1 April 2024 are:

National Minimum Wage rateIncrease in pencePercentage increase
National Living Wage (21 and over)£11.44£1.029.8%
18-20 Year Old Rate£8.60£1.1114.8%
16-17 Year Old Rate£6.40£1.1221.2%
Apprentice Rate£6.40£1.1221.2%
Accommodation Offset£9.99£0.899.8%

2. Increases in Employment Tribunal awards

On 6 April 2024, the Employment Tribunal increased its compensation limits for certain tribunal awards and other statutory payments, including statutory redundancy pay. The changes come into force under the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2024 and aim to bring awards in line with the Retail Prices Index (“RPI”).

The most significant increases to note are:

  1. the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal – from £105,707 to £115,115;
  2. the minimum basic award for some forms of unfair dismissal – from £7,836 to £8,533;
  3. the limit on a week’s pay when calculating statutory redundancy pay and unfair dismissal basic awards – from £643 to £700. This means that the maximum cap will now be £21,000 (increased from £19,290); and
  4. the ‘statutory guarantee pay’ increases from £35 to £38 per day.

It is important for employers to note that these increases will only apply to situations where the event giving rise to the entitlement to compensation or other payment occurred on or after 6 April 2024, so that, where the event occurs prior to 6 April 2024, the old limits will continue to apply.

3. New Vento bands

From 6 April 2024, the “Vento bands” (i.e. bands of compensation awarded in the Employment Tribunal for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury) increased.

For claims presented on or after 6 April 2024, the Vento bands will be as follows:

BandCase typeAward range
Lower BandLess serious cases£1,200 – £11,700
Middle bandCases that do not merit an award in the upper band£11,700 – £35,200
Upper bandThe most serious cases£35,200 – £58,700 (with the most exceptional cases exceeding £58,700)

It is important the employers are mindful of these increases, particularly those in the upper band as they can rise to figures in excess of £58,700 in some exceptional circumstances.