Increases for National Minimum Wage and Discrimination Awards

Increase in National Minimum Wage and Discrimination Awards

From 1st April 2018 the National Minimum Wage rates have increased and are now as follows:

Age of worker

Rate per hour

25 and over (National Living Wage)


21 to 24


18 to 20


Under 18


Apprentice rate


The increase of £0.33 per hour in respect of the National Living Wage represents an increase of 4.4% on last year, which for some employers in the current climate may present a difficult increase in cost to swallow. The rise also applies to apprentices, who will now see a 20p per hour pay increase.

However, it is important that all eligible workers are paid at least the rates referred to above as the Government has the power to impose significant penalties on those employers failing to comply.

The increase falls in line with inflation, and will affect at least two million workers. The move follows November’s Autumn budget. The Treasury estimates that full-time workers on basic pay could be up to £600 better off than last year.

Discrimination awards

The President of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales has issued guidance which confirms the uprated bands for injury to feelings awards which are generally awarded following successful discrimination claims.  For claims presented on or after 6th April 2018, the following bands will apply:

Lower band (for less serious cases)


Middle band (for cases that do not merit and award in the upper band)


Upper band (for the most severe cases)


* In exceptional circumstances the award can exceed £42,900

Whilst the previous bands for injury to feelings awards would have provided enough of a reason to take discrimination seriously (the top of the upper band previously being £30,000), the uprated bands referred to above provided a timely reminder to employers that discrimination claims can prove to be very significant financially.

In light of current trends regarding gender equality and sexual harassment, employer should ensure they are actively taking steps to prevent and deal with discrimination.

If you’re interested in any of the topics raised in this article, or for further information, please contact Maz. Alternatively, you can call to speak to one of the team on 0115 9888 777.

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