These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1 April every year.
Current rates from April 1st 2022
||23 and over
||21 to 22
||18 to 20
The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice. You must be at least:
- school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
- aged 23 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 22 and under
Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:
- aged under 19
- aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
Who gets the minimum wage
Read the information on who is entitled to the minimum wage.
You can use the minimum wage calculator to check whether the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage is being paid.
Contact Acas if you’re not getting the National Minimum Wage and think you should be.
Information from ACAS
Employers have a ‘duty of care’. This means they must do all they reasonably can to support their employees’ health, safety and wellbeing.
If an employee has a mental health issue, it’s important their employer takes it seriously. For example, it’s a good idea to talk to the employee to find out what support they might need at work.
There are many types of mental health issue. An issue can happen suddenly, because of a specific event in someone’s life, or it can build up gradually over time.
Common mental health issues include:
- stress (this is not classed as a medical condition but it can still have a serious impact on wellbeing)
Less common ones include:
- bipolar disorder
Creating a supportive environment
It’s helpful if employers create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about mental health.
- treating mental and physical health as equally important
- making sure employees have regular one-to-ones with their managers, to talk about any problems they’re having
- encouraging positive mental health, for example arranging mental health awareness training, workshops or appointing mental health ‘champions’ who staff can talk to
Employers can find out more about promoting positive mental health at work, including:
- understanding mental health
- creating a mental health strategy
- educating the workforce
More information can be found here
The beginning of pregnancy to the end of maternity leave is a ‘protected period’ during which a woman is entitled to special consideration if this is necessary to make good any disadvantage she may otherwise experience
The law makes it clear that:
- During the protected period, unfavourable treatment of a woman because she is pregnant or on maternity leave is unlawful. This means a woman doesn’t have to compare her treatment with anyone else to show direct pregnancy and maternity discrimination
- A woman on maternity leave has the right to return to the same job before she left; an interim employee cannot be given her job even if you think the person is a better employee.
- Selecting a woman for redundancy because of her pregnancy, maternity leave or a related reason is automatically unfair dismissal as well as being unlawful discrimination.
- Failure to consult a woman on maternity leave about possible redundancy is likely to be unlawful discrimination.
- A woman made redundant while on maternity leave must be offered any suitable alternative vacancy if you have one. She doesn’t need to apply for it.
- Special provision for a woman in connection with pregnancy or childbirth is not sex discrimination against a man provided that the action you take does not go beyond what is necessary to rectify her disadvantage.
If you are reorganising and/or need to make employees redundant and this includes someone who is pregnant or on maternity leave, you need to:
· Check the redundancy is genuine and necessary
· Ensure you consult and keep in touch
· Establish non-discriminatory selection criteria
· Consider alternative work.
The full guidance from ACAS can be found here
ACAS offers some good advice for employers on how to settle in a new employee once they have accepted a job offer.
They suggest that you use a checklist to ensure that both the new employee and their line manager know what has or has not been covered at any given time.
They both need a copy, which should be kept up to date, so they can follow what is happening. It can also act as a reminder of anything that needs particular attention.
While a checklist is helpful, it should not turn the induction into a tick-box exercise. It should be the responsibility of both management and the new starter to ensure all items are properly covered.
The checklist is often drawn up by the employer’s HR department in consultation with other staff involved, such as a safety officer, line manager/supervisor, employee representative and training officer.
A sample checklist, which is free to download and use, can be found here
An employer can’t refuse to accept someone’s resignation and they must follow certain procedures.
When a member of staff resigns you must:
- get them to confirm their resignation in writing. Verbal resignations given in the heat of the moment could lead to claims of unfair dismissal – always ask for resignations to be given in writing.
- tell them what their notice period is
- agree when their last day at work will be
- confirm whether they should work all or part of their notice period
Employee decisions to retire are a form of resignation.
Verbal resignations given in the heat of the moment could lead to claims of unfair dismissal – always ask for resignations to be given in writing.
To make their departure as smooth as possible, you might also:
- Agree with the employee the terms of an announcement to other staff concerning their departure, if appropriate.
- Organise a handover period. This allows for a smooth handover to existing staff or the employee’s replacement of key tasks and responsibilities.
- Arrange an exit interview. You can then use their response to determine whether there are any underlying issues to be addressed.
- Retrieve security passes and all other property of your business, eg tools, uniforms, computers and company cars.
- Organise their final payment including all money owing, eg pay in lieu of working a notice period, money for unused holidays, overtime and bonus payments.
- Part on good terms. The person leaving may become a client or may be able to refer business to you. Equally, a disgruntled ex-employee can damage the reputation of your business if they leave on poor terms, eg having identified you as their previous employer then writing about their experiences as your employee on a social networking website or blog. This may be the case where the employee has details on their profile which identifies them as having worked for you.
- Organise a farewell gift or party, if appropriate. Acknowledgement of good service appreciated is valuable for remaining staff morale and the promoting of a positive organisational culture.
- Make a point of saying goodbye on the actual day the person leaves and thank them again for all their hard work.
- Be careful about refernces. You should consider carefully the legal implications of providing a reference:
- make sure that what you say is true, accurate and a fair representation of the person
- an ex-employee could bring an action against you for libel, discrimination or defamation of character through a court or tribunal, if they consider the reference to be inaccurate
Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) if you have any questions about handling staff resignations.
An employer doesn’t usually have to give a work reference – but if they do, it must be fair and accurate. Workers may be able to challenge a reference they think is unfair or misleading.
Employers must give a reference if:
- there was a written agreement to do so
- they’re in a regulated industry, like financial services
If they give a reference it:
- must be fair and accurate – and can include details about workers’ performance and if they were sacked
- can be brief – such as job title, salary and when the worker was employed
Once the worker starts with a new employer they can ask to see a copy of a reference. They have no right to ask their previous employer.
If the worker thinks they’ve been given an unfair or misleading reference, they may be able to claim damages in a court. The previous employer must be able to back up the reference, such as by supplying examples of warning letters.
Workers must be able to show that:
- it’s misleading or inaccurate
- they ‘suffered a loss’ – for example, a job offer was withdrawn
Workers can get legal advice, including from Citizens Advice. They may also get legal aid.
Discrimination and unfair dismissal
Workers might also claim damages from a court if:
- the employment contract says they must be given a reference but the employer refuses to
- the worker is sacked because they’ve been asked to give a reference while the worker’s still working for them
Workers can get legal advice, including from Citizens Advice. They may also get legal aid.
Contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for advice.