Key employment statistics
Quick links to the content of this page:
- National Minimum Wage
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
- Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
- Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
- Employer-supported childcare
- Guarantee payments ("lay-off pay")
- Week's pay
- Statutory Redundancy Pay (SRP)
- Tribunal awards
- Income tax
- National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
- Taxation of company cars
- Car fuel benefit
- Employer provided vans
- Authorised mileage rates - own vehicle
- Authorised mileage rates - company-provided vehicles
- Hospitality to employees
- Loans to employees
- Termination payments
- State pension
- Occupational pension schemes
- Stakeholder pensions
- Employee Share Schemes
- Criminal Record Disclosures
- Juror's financial loss allowances
- Magistrate's allowances
- Data protection
National Minimum Wage
As from the first 'pay reference period' that starts on or after Monday 1 October 2012 the rates are as follows:
- adult rate (for those aged 21 and over): £6.19 per hour (previously £6.08 per hour)
- youth rate (18-20): will remain at £4.98 per hour (unchanged)
- rate for those aged 16 and 17-year-olds: will remain at £3.68 per hour (unchanged)
- apprentices not otherwise covered by the NMW: £2.65 per hour (previously £2.60 per hour)
- the maximum amount that can be offset where accommodation is provided: £4.82 per day (previously £4.73 per day).
- The apprentice rate applies to employed apprentices who are under age 19 or who are aged 19 or above in their first 12 months of apprenticeship, for all hours spent working and training; other apprentices must be paid the relevant higher rate. Non-employed apprentices continue to be exempt from the NMW.
- Note that tips, service charges, gratuities and cover charges, whether discretionary or mandatory, do not count towards the NMW.
The National Minimum Wage rates will increase on 1 October 2013 as follows:
- adult rate: increases to £6.31 per hour
- youth rate (18-20): increases to £5.03 per hour
- rate for 16-17 year olds: increases to £3.72 per hour
- apprentice rate: increases to £2.68 per hour
- where accommodation is provided to the employee by the employer: the amount that can be offset against the NMW increases to £4.91 per day (£34.37 per week).
The above rates are effective for pay periods on or after 1 October 2013.Back to top
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Statutory Sick Pay is payable for up to 28 weeks. The employee must earn a minimum of the Lower Earnings Limit. The rate of SSP as from 6 April 2013 is £86.70 (previously £85.85).
The daily rate of SSP is calculated by dividing the weekly amount by the number of qualifying days in the week. To calculate the rate for a number of days, the unrounded rate is multiplied by the number of days and rounded up to a whole penny. For daily rates, see the HMRC website.
Amounts in excess of 13% of your total employee and employer Class 1 NICs liability for the month in question may be recovered from HMRC.Back to top
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
For employees who earn more than the Lower Earnings Limit:
|Length of service||Maternity leave||SMP|
Less than 26 weeks' service at the beginning of
the 14th week before the Expected Week of
|Up to 52 weeks||No entitlement|
26 weeks' service or more at the beginning of the
14th week before the EWC
|Up to 52 weeks||
Six weeks at 90% of earnings (even if this is less than the SMP weekly
rate) and up to 33 weeks at £136.78 per week from the first payment
week starting on or after 7 April 2013 (previously £135.45)
90% of earnings (whichever is less)
The remaining 13 weeks are unpaid
Statutory Maternity Pay is reimbursed to the employer. The rate depends on how much the employer has paid in National Insurance Contributions in the previous tax year:
- Tax year 2013-14:
up to £45,000 paid in NI contributions - 103% of SMP paid
£45,000 or more paid in NI contributions - 92% of SMP paid.
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, working fathers have the right to two weeks' paid paternity leave . This is paid at the same rate as the lower rate of SMP, ie £136.78 per week from the first payment week starting on or after 7 April 2013 or 90% of earnings, whichever is less (previously the lesser of £135.45 or 90% of earnings).
Statutory Paternity Pay is reimbursed to the employer. The rate depends on how much the employer has paid in National Insurance Contributions in the previous tax year:
- Tax year 2013-14:
up to £45,000 paid in NI contributions - 103% SPP paid
£45,000 or more paid in NI contributions - 92% of SPP paid.
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, one of the adoptive parents may take paid adoption leave, for the same period as maternity leave, when a child is first placed with a family. Payment for adoption leave is at the same rate as lower rate SMP, ie the lesser of £136.78 per week from the first payment week starting on or after 7 April 2013 or 90% of earnings (previously the lesser of £135.45 per week or 90% of earnings).
Statutory Adoption Pay is reimbursed to the employer. The rate depends on how much the employer has paid in National Insurance Contributions in the previous tax year:
- Tax year 2013-14:
up to £45,000 paid in NI contributions - 103% SAP paid
£45,000 or more paid in NI contributions - 92% of SAP paid.
Employers can contribute up to £55 per week (£243 per month) towards childcare costs, free of National Insurance contributions and subject to tax relief (see below), provided this benefit is offered to all employees. The payment may be made by voucher or otherwise and the care must be provided by an approved childcarer, whether registered childcare or approved home-childcare.
Note however that for those who join a scheme on or after 6 April 2011, the tax relief is restricted to the standard income tax rate of 20%. The exempt amount is therefore as follows:
- £22 per week (£97 per month) for employees with an 'employment income amount' estimated to exceed the higher rate limit for the tax year
- £28 per week (£124 per month) for employees with an 'employment income amount' estimated to exceed the basic rate limit but not the higher rate limit for the tax year
- £55 per week (£243 per month) otherwise.
Note that the restriction on tax relief only applies to those who joined a scheme after 6 April 2011. Employees who joined the scheme before 6 April 2011, who remain in their current employment and during that period there has not been a continuous period of 52 weeks throughout which vouchers and/or childcare were not being provided for the employee under the scheme, continue to get full tax relief. For more guidance on assessing the 'employment income amount' and operating the scheme, see the HMRC guidance.
Note however that HMRC has now announced an increase in the tax exemption for childcare vouchers or directly contracted childcare from £22 per week to £25 per week for additional rate taxpayers who joined such a scheme on or after 6 April 2011. This will ensure the value of tax relief available for employer supported childcare is aligned to the value received by basic rate taxpayers.
The 2013 Budget also included an announcement that working parents will get 20% tax relief on the first £6,000 of childcare costs, as from autumn 2015. The maximum tax relief will be £1,200 per child, provided both parents are in work (one parent in the case of lone parent families); each earn less than £150,000 and they do not already receive support through tax credits or the future 'universal credit'. Initially, the scheme will include only children under five years old, but it will be gradually extended to include those below the age of 12.Back to top
Guarantee payments ("lay-off pay")
The guaranteed daily rate for employees who are laid off work under the Employment Rights Act 1996 is £24.20 (from 1 February 2013 - previously £23.50).
Employees are entitled to guarantee payments for up to five workless days in any three month period. Where the normal working week is less than five days, the number of days' entitlement to guarantee pay is reduced accordingly.Back to top
The maximum weekly wage used for calculating statutory redundancy payments, basic awards, and other statutory compensation is £450 for all dismissals taking effect on or after 1 February 2013 (previously £430).Back to top
Statutory Redundancy Pay (SRP)
The amount of Statutory Redundancy Pay is the 'number of weeks' multiplied by the lower of either the actual average weekly wage or a maximum weekly wage of £450 (for dismissals occurring on or after 1 February 2013 - previously £430).
The 'number of weeks' relates to the employee's age and completed years of continuous service as at the date the notice period would expire. See our Redundancy Pay ready reckoner . The maximum number of weeks is 30, therefore the maximum statutory redundancy payment is £13,500 for dismissals occurring on or after 1 February 2013.Back to top
Unfair dismissal: compensation for unfair dismissal is made up of a basic award which is similar to a redundancy payment (therefore a maximum basic payment of £13,500 as from 1 February 2013) and a compensatory award. The maximum compensatory award a tribunal can award to an employee who brings a successful unfair dismissal claim is £74,200 (for dismissals occurring on or after 1 February 2013; previously £72,300). The total potential liability for a normal unfair dismissal claim is £87,700 for dismissals occurring on or after 1 February 2013; previously £85,200 (Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2012). Note however that under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, the Government will impose a cap that will limit the unfair dismissal compensatory award to 12 months' pay or the current limit (whichever is lower). This is expected to come into force in summer 2013. The Government states that there is a need to reduce people's unrealistic expectations of a tribunal settlement - currently only one in 350 unfair dismissal awards are more than the claimant's own salary, and the average award is less than £5,000. To date there has been no indication as to whether such a reform will take place in Northern Ireland also.
Note also the following:
- Automatic unfair dismissal - basic award: a minimum basic award of four weeks' pay (£1,800 as from 1 February 2013) is made where a dismissal is regarded as automatically unfair under section 98A(i) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 if the basic award is less than this amount. However such an award need not be made where it would result in injustice to the employer.
- Unfair dismissal - minimum basic award: for unfair dismissal for a reason related to the complainant's appointment as a Health and Safety representative, exercise of rights under the Working Time Regulations, activities as a pension scheme trustee, activities as an employee representative in connection with redundancies or a transfer of undertakings is £5,500 (as from 1 February 2013; previously £5,300).
- Union membership: the minimum basic award for dismissal or selection for redundancy on grounds related to union membership or activities is £5,500 (as from 1 February 2013; previously £5,300). The minimum compensation awarded for exclusion or expulsion from a trade union is £8,400 (as from 1 February 2013; previously £8,100). The award for unlawful inducement relating to trade union membership activities, or for unlawful inducement relating to collective bargaining is £3,600 (as from 1 February 2013; previously £3,500).
There is no limit on the amount of compensation for cases of whistleblowing, certain health or safety matters, or discrimination due to a protected characteristic and awards may included compensation for injury to feelings in discrimination cases. Guidance on injury to feelings awards was set out by the Court of Appeal in Da'Bell v NSPCC :
- lower band: up to £6,000 - to reflect less serious cases - for example minor one-off occurrences
- middle band: up to £18,000 - for serious cases that don't merit the highest awards
- upper band: up to £30,000 - for the most serious cases - for example a campaign of harassment.
Breach of contract claims: the maximum award a tribunal can make is £25,000.
In addition, the tribunal may award the following:
- Refusal of right to be accompanied at a grievance or disciplinary meeting or a meeting to discuss a statutory flexible working request: 2 x a week's pay, so maximum of £900 (as from 1 February 2013)
- Failure to consider a flexible working request: 8 x a week's pay, so maximum of £3,600 (as from 1 February 2013)
- Failure to inform/consult on a TUPE transfer: 13 x a week's pay, so maximum of £5,850 (as from 1 February 2013)
- Failure to provide written particulars of employment: 4 x a week's pay, so maximum of £1,800 (as from 1 February 2013)
Interest is incurred if the awards are not paid within 42 days (or within 14 days in discrimination cases). Tax and NI are not normally deducted if the payment is made to an ex-employee, unless over £30K or reinstatement has been ordered.Back to top
2013-14 tax year:
- personal tax allowance: £9,440
- basic rate tax is 20%
- the basic rate limit (the level of taxable earnings above which the 40% tax rate applies): £32,010
- the higher rate tax threshold (the sum of the basic rate limit and the personal allowance): £41,450
- top rate of income tax (paid on earnings over £150,000): cut from 50% to 45%
- for new pensioners, the current age allowance is replaced with the same personal allowance as the rest of the population.
2014-15 tax year:
- all UK taxpayers will receive a personal tax statement, which will detail an individual's income tax and NI payments and how those contribute to public spending.
- the personal tax allowance will increase to £10,000.00 from 6 April 2014, for those born after 05/04/48.
- the higher rate tax threshold (the sum of the basic rate limit and the personal allowance): will increase to £41,865 (and then to £42,285 in the tax year 2015-16).
National Insurance Contributions (NICs)
Tax year 2013-14:
- Lower Earnings Limit: £109.00 per week (£473 per month).
- Threshold after which NICs become payable: £149 per week (£646 per month).
- Upper Earnings Limit: £797 per week (£3,454 per month).
- Employees' class 1 NIC rates remain at 12% on earnings between the threshold and upper earnings limit; and 2% on earnings above the upper earnings limit.
Taxation of company cars
The benefit charge for a company car is calculated initially as a percentage of the car's list price. The percentage charge depends on the car's rated CO2 emission level, ranging from 10% for the most efficient vehicles to a maximum of 35% for heavy polluters.
As from the 2013-4 tax year, the 10% rate will apply to ratings below 95g/km. The objective is to encourage businesses to use ultra-low carbon cars.There are no changes to the 0% charge for zero emission cars and the 5% charge for low emission cars with emission ratings up to 75g/km. The five year exemption for these cars will come to an end in April 2015. The appropriate percentage for zero emission and all low carbon cars emitting less than 95g of carbon dioxide per kilometre will be 13% in 2015-16, and will increase by two percentage points in 2016-17.
For both 2015/16 and 2016/17 there will be a 2% increase in each of those years moving the cap from 35% to 37% which is applied to the list price of the car. As from April 2016, the 3% surcharge applicable to diesel powered cars will be removed - diesel powered cars will be taxed on exactly the same basis as petrol powered cars.
HMRC has a Company Car and Car Fuel Benefit Calculator which can be used to calculate car and car fuel benefit-in-kind values and to get an indication of the tax that will be payable on the calculated values.Back to top
Car fuel benefit
Fuel benefit charge applies where an employee who has a company car is provided with free fuel for private use.
Like car benefit, the fuel benefit charge is based on the level of CO2 emissions of the car, and the same percentage figures are used as for the company car benefit charge with the same 3% supplement for diesels which do not meet Euro IV standards and reductions for alternatively fuelled cars.
To calculate the benefit charge on free fuel the percentage figure is multiplied against a set figure of £21,100 for 2013/14 tax year (previously £20,200).Back to top
Employer provided vans
Employees who are obliged to take their vans home, but are prevented from making any other private use of the vehicle, are exempted from any tax charge.
The scale charge for unrestricted private use is £3,000, whatever the age of the van. An additional fuel scale charge of £564 (as from 2013-4 tax year - previously £550) applies where fuel is provided for private mileage.Back to top
Authorised mileage rates - own vehicle
Employees who use their own vehicles for business travel (irrespective of engine size) may claim the following payments free from tax and NICs:
Motorcars and vans:
- up to 10,000 miles: 45p per per mile (increased with effect from 6.4.11; previously 40p)
- over 10,000 miles: 25p per mile
- 24p per mile (irrespective of how many miles)
- 20p per mile (irrespective of how many miles)
Authorised mileage rates - company-provided vehicles
The HMRC advisory rates used to negotiate dispensations for mileage payments for business travel in company cars are below. These were adjusted with effect from 1 March 2013. They only apply where employers reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars, or require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel.
Engine size (petrol or LPG):
- up to 1400 cc:
- petrol: 15p
- LPG: 10p
- 1401 - 2000 cc:
- petrol: 18p
- LPG: 12p
- over 2000 cc:
- petrol: 26p
- LPG: 18p
Note: petrol hybrid cars are treated as petrol for this purpose.
Engine size (diesel):
- up to 1600 cc: 13p
- 1601 - 2000 cc: 15p
- over 2000 cc: 18p
The rates are reviewed four times a year, with any changes taking effect at the beginning of each calendar quarter (on 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December). Further details are available on the HMRC website.Back to top
Hospitality to employees
Employers are allowed to provide hospitality tax-free to employees (eg summer events, Christmas party) up to a total maximum of £150 per employee per year, provided that this is available to all employees. This limit applies to everything - hire of facilities, food, drink, entertainment, incidental costs, transport, overnight accommodation and VAT.Back to top
Loans to employees
Employers are allowed to provide employment-related interest free loans (such as those for season tickets) of up to £5,000 in total free of tax.
As from the 2014-5 tax year, the limit is doubled to £10,000. As long as the total outstanding balances on these loans do not exceed the threshold at any time in a tax year, there will be no tax charge. Legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2014, before the change comes into effect from 6 April 2014.
HMRC provides more detailed guidance.Back to top
The following termination payments are tax-free, up to a total maximum of £30,000:
- statutory redundancy pay
- non-statutory redundancy pay
- ex-gratia payments on the death or disability of an employee
- compensation for wrongful dismissal
- certain other termination payments for which the employee has no contractual entitlement.
An employer may provide up to £8,000 tax free to an employee to help him/her to relocate (any additional sums are taxable).Back to top
The full basic state pension for a single person for the 2013-4 tax year is £110.15 per week (previously £107.45).Back to top
Occupational pension schemes
There are two limits on an individual's tax-relieved pensions savings, in the form of an Annual and Lifetime Allowance.
The annual amount on which tax relief on pension savings is granted is £50,000. The lifetime limit for tax-free pension saving is £1.5 million. However there are exemptions for those taking a deferred or ill-health retirement, and the option of carrying over unused allowances within a three-year period.
From tax year 2014/15, the Annual Allowance will be reduced to £40,000 and the Lifetime Allowance reduced to £1.25 million.Back to top
All employers (other than those who are exempt) are required to consult with their employees and choose, and put into place, a stakeholder scheme.
Exempt employers include: those who have less than five employees; those who have an Occupational Pension scheme already in place which all employees can join within a year of starting employment; and those who offer a group personal pension to all staff, contribute at least 3% of basic salary, offer payroll deductions if asked and have no exit/transfer charges.Back to top
Employee Share Schemes
The following schemes are approved by the HMRC and offer tax advantages:
- Savings Related Share Option Schemes (SAYE): where the employee can contribute a maximum of £250 per month to acquire shares at the end of a three, five or seven year period.
- Share Incentive Plans (SIPs): each year, companies can give up to £3,000 worth of shares to each employee. Employees can also buy up to £1,500 worth of shares, which can be matched by the company with up to two matching shares for each share an employee buys. These schemes also offer NIC advantages. (Also known as All Employee Share Ownership Plans; Employee Share Plans.)
- Company Share Option Plans (CSOP): up to £30,000 worth of options can be granted to any number of employees. Also offer NIC advantages.
- Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI): companies with gross assets up to £30M can grant share options worth up to £120,000 per employee, subject to total share value of £3M. Also offer NIC advantages.
Criminal Record Disclosures
The initial cost to an organisation registering with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is currently £300 and each additional countersignatory costs £5.00
The costs of disclosures are as follows:
- standard disclosure: £26.00
- enhanced disclosure: £44.00
- checks are free for volunteers.
Juror's financial loss allowances
Employees in England and Wales who undertake jury service are allowed to claim the following allowances from the courts:
- During the first 10 days:
- 4 hours or less on any day: £32.47
- more than 4 hours on any day: £64.95
- From 11th day up to 200th day:
- 4 hours or less on any day: £64.95
- more than 4 hours on any day: £129.91
- From the 201st day:
- 4 hours or less on any day: £114.03
- more than 4 hours on any day: £228.06
Employees in Northern Ireland who undertake jury service may claim the same rates as apply in England and Wales (see above) for the first 10 days and days 11-200, but the enhanced rates that apply in England and Wales for day 201 onwards do not apply in Northern Ireland.
Slightly different rates apply to jurors in Scotland who are able to claim the financial loss allowances, whether or not they actually serve on a jury, in respect of loss of earnings or social security welfare benefits, and also any additional expense (up to a limit) incurred in employing a childminder, other child carer, or carer for a dependent adult which was necessary in order to attend the jury service. The timescales are also different, as follows:
- During the first 5 days:
- 4 hours or less on any day: £32.47
- more than 4 hours on any day: £64.95
- From 6th day up to 100th day:
- From the 101st day:
The allowances for magistrates (reviewed with effect from 1 May 2010) are as follows:
- for self-employed magistrates: £58.29 for a half-day sitting or up to £116.58 for a full day sitting (over four hours)
- for employed magistrates: £46.63 for a half-day and £93.27 for a full-day.
The fees payable by data controllers to register or renew with the Information Commissioner to process personal data are as follows:
- less than 250 employees: £35.00
- private companies with 250 or more employees and an annual turnover of £25.9 million or more, or public authoritities with 250 or more members of staff: £500.00
The maximum amount that an individual can be required to pay to view his/her personal data is £10.00.Back to top
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