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Quarter year update and Spring Budget announcements

We are a quarter of the way through the year already and with that brings the traditional April minimum wage and statutory payments increases. Alongside this, the government has made some interesting announcements as part of the Spring Budget which could affect employers and employees alike.

Annual April Payments

Firstly, the below table shows the changes to minimum wages, therefore employers need to ensure they adjust wages and pay scales to meet the below requirements:

  April 2022 rate April 2023 rate
National Living Wage £9.50 £10.42
21-22 year olds £9.18 £10.18
18-20 year olds £6.83 £7.49
16-17 year olds £4.81 £5.28
Apprenticeship rate £4.81 £5.28


It is worth noting that the statutory payments have also increased to £172.48, this includes statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and parental bereavement pay.

Spring Budget

The Spring Budget was announced in the middle of March 2023 and covered a variety of topics with a focus on halving inflation, growing the economy and reducing debt.

The budget does include a few areas that will impact or create opportunities for employers. The first is the focus on encouraging the 6.7 million currently ‘economically inactive’ individuals back into the workforce. To do this the government has proposed:

  • Introducing a Universal Support programme in England and Wales to encourage those that are on long term sick back to work. This also includes ‘tailored employment support’ in mental health and musculoskeletal health services and expanding digital resources and health checks.
  • Increasing Work Coach support and work search requirements to encourage those on universal credit back into work
  • Increasing tax relief on pensions by removing the lifetime allowance charge from April 2023 and abolishing it by April 2024. The annual allowance will be increased to £60,000 to encourage highly skilled workers (such as NHS clinicians) to remain in the workforce past when they would normally consider retiring.
  • The government also announced its plan to support those who are out of work due to their caring responsibilities. This includes a support plan scaled over the next few years to allow parents a certain amount of free childcare support:
    • April 2024: 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of two year olds
    • September 2024: 15 hours of free childcare for working parents of children aged 9 months to three years
    • September 2025: 30 hours of free childcare for working parents for every child over the age of 9 months.

At present, these schemes are within the early stages of development therefore businesses should keep an eye out for any future updates as they may be able to utilise some of the schemes to help with recruitment issues.

We will be going into more detail about these announcements, as well as other future employment updates, at our free ‘Lunch and Learn’ seminar on Thursday 10th May at the Mount Pleasant Hotel in Doncaster. For more information about our HR Support services, or to sign up for the seminar, please contact us on 01302 341344.

By Kris Kerins Operations Manager – HR | CQI & IRCA ISO 9001: Lead Auditor

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