The rates, which will increase in April 2017, will cover maternity pay, shared parental pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and sick pay.
The statutory pay rates change every year and the currently weekly rate for statutory maternity pay is 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings or £139.58, depending on which is lower. Next year, the statutory maternity pay will rise to £140.98, an increase of £1.40 per week. This increase normally takes place on the first Sunday in April, which will fall on 2 April in 2017.
On the same day, other statutory payments will rise, including statutory shared parental pay, statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay. Both rates will rise from £139.58 to £140.98. If 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings is lower than £140.98, they will receive this amount instead, much like statutory maternity pay.
The rate increase is normally in line with the consumer price index (CPI), which means inflation and the value of the pound are considered. As there was a 0.1% fall in the consumer price index in the year 2015, there was no increase to statutory payment rates in April 2016 and the rates were frozen for a year.
Many parents were worried that the same thing would happen this year; however, they will be relieved to hear that the customer price index rose by 1% between 2015 and 2016. This is reflected in the rising rates for 2017 to 2018.
The pay rates are released well before they take place in April 2017 to enable employers to plan their budgets for the coming year. They will have time to amend policies and documents that relate to maternity and paternity pay and can edit their family benefits. It is also useful for couples and families who are planning on having children in the next year.
The rate for statutory sick pay will also rise from £88.45 to £89.35, which is an increase of 90p. This increase is expected to take place on 6 April 2017.
It is important to note that not all employees will be eligible to receive these benefits. To be eligible, an employee’s average earnings must be more than, or equal to, the lower earnings limit. The lower earnings limit will also be increasing from £112 to £113 in April 2017.
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