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Employment Rates Round-up - What Academies and Schools Need to Know

on Friday, 23 April 2021.

April brings the annual increase to rates and limits such as compensation limits, National Living Wage, and more. We've set out the changes academies and schools need to know.

Injury to Feelings Awards

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and in Scotland have published new guidance on the award levels for compensation for injury to feelings.

This applies to discrimination claims brought under the Equality Act 2010 and certain types of whistleblowing claim.

This compensation is awarded with reference to three bands, known as 'Vento' bands after the case in which the guidance was first set out - Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire. Whilst this guidance is not binding, the tribunal must have regard to it and it would be highly unusual if it were not followed.

For claims presented on or after 6 April 2021, the new Vento bands are as follows:

  • lower band of £900 to £9,100 for less serious cases
  • middle band of £9,100 to £27,400 for cases which do not merit an award in the upper band
  • upper band of £27,400 to £45,600 for the most serious cases

In the most exceptional cases it will be possible for tribunals to award in excess of £45,600. Tribunals have discretion as to which band applies, and where in the band the appropriate award should fall.

The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage

April also saw an increase in the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage by 2.2%. The increase comes following recommendations from the Low Pay Commission. One of the most significant recommendations of the Low Pay Commission which has also been implemented is the extension of the National Living Wage to those aged 23 and above.

The new rates, applicable from 6 April 2021, will be:

 Age Range


Age 23+


Age 21-22


Age 18-20


Age 16-17




Accommodation offset

£8.36 (per week)

Employers will, in particular, need to consider their workforce and identify those for whom the extension of the National Living Wage will affect and plan for the increase accordingly.

Week's Pay and Compensation Limits

Limits on tribunal awards increased from 6 April 2021 as follows:

  • the cap on a week's pay (used to calculate the basic awards in unfair dismissal cases and statutory redundancy payments) will increase to £544 (from £538)
  • the maximum compensatory award for ordinary unfair dismissal will increase to £89,493 (from £88,519) (although this is still subject to the cap of a year's gross pay).

The new figures will apply where the effective date of termination in dismissal cases and the relevant date for redundancy payments falls on or after 6 April 2021. This means that for any redundancies taking effect on or after 6 April 2021, statutory redundancy payments will need to be recalculated in line with the increased limits.

Increases to Statutory Sick Pay, Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, and Shared Parental Pay

The weekly rate of the following statutory payments also increased on 4 April 2021:

Type of Pay

Previous Weekly Rate

New Weekly Rate

Statutory Sick Pay (SPP)



Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)



Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)



Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)



Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)



For specialist support on any employment law issue please contact Alice Reeve in our Employment Law team on 0117 314 5383 or your usual contact in the employment team, or complete the form below.

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