Employment law is a complex area full of pitfalls and can be expensive. Getting it right however, starts with the basics, so here is Employee Management Ltd’s quick guide to HR basics for September 2012.


National Minimum Wage

16 – 17                                          £3.68 p/h

18 – 21                                           £4.98 p/h

22 +                                               £6.08 p/h

Apprentice Rate                       £2.60 p/h

London Living Wage Rate     £8.30 p/h


Statutory Payments

Statutory Maternity Pay         £135.45 or 90% of earnings if less for 33 weeks

Statutory Paternity Pay          £135.45 or 90% of earnings if less for 2 weeks

Statutory Sick Pay                     £85.85 for 28 weeks (and after waiting days)

The Lower Earnings Limit      £107

Guarantee Pay                             £23.50

Statutory Redundancy Pay    £430 maximum per week of entitlement


The Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) is the amount of earnings which allow an employee to qualify for certain statutory benefits and is calculated each tax year by the government. An example of this is Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). To qualify for SMP, an employee’s average weekly earnings must be at least equal to the lower earnings limit (LEL).

Guarantee Pay compensates employees for the loss of earnings where it has occurred through no fault of their own. Employers may have to pay their employees a guaranteed payment if they cannot provide them with employment on a day when they would normally work under their contract of employment.


Working Time Regulations

Paid annual leave                    28 Days (including Bank Holidays)

Rest Breaks                                 20 minutes for shifts longer than 6 hours

Daily Rest                                    11 hours between daily shifts

Weekly rest                                 24 hours per week/48 hours per two weeks

Weekly working limits            48 hours over a 17 week period

Night working limits                8 hours (average)


All workers have a right to at least 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave. As an employer, you can control some elements of annual leave, including when it can be taken and whether to include bank holidays as part of your entitlement. Part-time workers are entitled to the same amount of annual leave as full time workers but on a pro rata basis.


Employment Tribunals

Qualifying period                        1 year (2 years where EDC on or after 6 April 2012)

Basic Award                                £12,900

Compensatory Award                £72,300


Changes to employment law are generally implemented in April and October of each year. In the meantime, it would be advisable to seek professional support on compliance with current legislative requirements. Therefore, please feel free to contact one of our human resource consultants for a no obligation discussion about our comprehensive range of employment law services.