The Spring budget was delivered on the 15th March 2023, it has brought returnerships for over 50s and universal support for people with disabilities alongside the UK pay rates and National minimum wage 2023.
What are Returnerships?
Jeremy Hunt announced in the spring budget, a measure to encourage over-50s back to work with an Apprenticeship scheme, with many taking early retirement or a career break. The scheme uses the individual’s previous experience to fast-track the learning process.
The Returnerships program will provide people with free upskilling and training, encouraging those who took early retirement, or a career break back into the UK workforce. The aim is to get talented individuals back to work due to the shortages the UK economy is currently facing. Alongside the training, the program will assist the returners by providing job opportunities with businesses partnering with the program.
The returnership funding is £5 million and will provide grants to employers setting up returnership programs within their business. Grants may be used for mentoring, training costs or any other costs related to supporting people back to work. The program has other incentives including diversifying the UK workforce and promoting greater diversity and inclusion within businesses.
What is Universal Support?
The UK Government is funding up to 50,000 people with disabilities through a new ‘voluntary employment scheme’ helping those with disabilities back into the workforce. Jeremy Hunt commented that the new way of working has opened new opportunities as people can now use Zoom and Microsoft Teams to communicate with colleagues.
The Government is also looking at how people off work with long-term illness, can re-enter the economy due to economic inactivity within the UK. Currently there is over 2 million working-aged people off due to long-term sickness in the UK.
Why have the pay rates and national minimum wage increased?
The UK Government has increased their pay rates and national minimum wage due to a variety of reasons including the increasing inflation rates owing to the cost-of-living crisis alongside government policies. Implementing an increase in the national minimum wage will help lower earners who are struggling to make ends meet with a higher income as of April 2023.
Employers need to have their payroll correct from the 1st April 2023 in line with the new national rates, ensuring they are compliant with employment laws in the UK.
The national minimum wage for apprentices 2023
The national minimum wage 2023 for apprentices is £5.28 per hour, up from £4.81 per hour in 2022.
For apprentices, they have a lower minimum wage as they are in training programs which means they are not fully productive within their field. The program provides them with on-the-job training.
However, the minimum wage for apprenticeship is not set haphazardly, the calculation will take into consideration multiple factors, such as age, length of service, and their experience. It should be set fairly to reflect the person’s circumstances.
The lower wage was created to accommodate both the employer’s and apprentice’s needs, and in order for them to deliver a training and development framework.
National living wage vs National minimum wage
One key difference between the national living wage and the national minimum wage is the age requirement, i.e. those over the age of 23 have access to the National living wage. Anyone under the age of 23 will be paid the national minimum wage.
The national living wage is reviewed yearly, changing to reflect the cost of living compared to the national minimum wage which is periodically reviewed and modified. However, the cost of living is not taken into consideration.
Both the national living wage and the national minimum wage are legal requirements of business owners, and financial penalties would be imposed on any businesses not paying the national minimum wage.
UK Pay rates and National minimum wage 2023
We have provided a table to break down the changes from 2022 to 2023;
|Date changing in NI||Rate (per week unless stated)||Previously|
|Statutory Sick Pay||April 23||£109.40||£99.35|
|SPP,SAP,ShPP Stat. Parental Bereavement Leave (GB only)||April 23||£172.48||£156.66|
|Guaranteed Pay||April 23||£ 35 per day||£ 31 per day|
|Statutory Cap on week’s pay||April 23||£669 ( GB £643)||£ 594 (GB £571)|
National Minimum Wage 2023
|NLW 23+||April 23||£10.42||£9.50|
|Accommodation offset||April 23||£9.10||£8.70|
Do you need any further guidance on legal requirements for employees? Contact us today.
Make sure your payroll is up to date with the national minimum wage 2023.