The government has published the proposed statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay, parental bereavement pay and sick pay from April 2021.
Maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption and parental bereavement pay
The current weekly rate of statutory maternity pay is £151.20, or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate.
The rate of statutory maternity pay is expected to rise to £151.97 from April 2021. The increase normally occurs on the first Sunday in April, which in 2021 is 4 April.
Sunday 4 April 2021 also sees the first annual increase for statutory parental bereavement pay. This follows the introduction of the right to parental bereavement leave, available to the parents of a child who died on or after 6 April 2020.
Also on 4 April 2021, the rates of statutory paternity pay and statutory shared parental pay are expected to go up from £151.20 to £151.97 (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate).
The rate of statutory adoption pay increases from £151.20 to £151.97.
This would mean that, from 4 April 2021, statutory adoption pay is payable at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, with the remainder of the adoption pay period at the rate of £151.97, or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is less than £151.97.
The rates normally increase each April in line with the consumer price index (CPI).
Stephen Simpson, principal employment law editor at XpertHR, said: “Employers may have been concerned that the publication of these rates could have been delayed because the government has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
“So it is good news for HR that they now have plenty of time to prepare for the April 2021 increases to these key statutory rates. The national minimum wage rates for next April have already been published – these were included in the Chancellor’s Spending Review a few weeks ago.”
The rate of statutory sick pay is also expected to increase from £95.85 to £96.35 on 6 April 2021.
To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit.
However, the lower earnings limit from April 2021 has not yet been published – it is listed on the government’s announcement as “TBC”.