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Statutory rates

Statutory payment rates for new tax year

The government has published a list of the proposed benefit and pension rates for 2019/20 and it includes the new statutory payment rates. What are they?

The government’s list has been set out in a written ministerial statement made in the House of Commons and it confirms that the:

  • standard weekly rates of statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) will increase from £145.18 to £148.68 (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if that is less than the statutory rate)
  • weekly rate of statutory sick pay (SSP) will increase from £92.05 to £94.25
  • lower earnings limit (LEL), below which employees do not qualify for SMP, SAP, SPP, ShPP and SSP, will increase from £116 to £118 per week.

The list doesn’t include any effective dates. However, the increases to SSP and the LEL always take effect from the start of a new tax year, i.e. 6 April 2019, and the increases to SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP tend to take effect from the first Sunday in April, which next year is Sunday, 7 April 2019.

The proposed rates are still subject to Parliamentary approval, so changes are possible, but unlikely. The government will, in due course, draft a new Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order to give effect to the changes and this is likely to be published in early 2019.

Subject to final approval by Parliament, from 7 April 2019 the standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP and ShPP will increase to £148.68 and from 6 April 2019 the weekly rate of SSP will rise to £94.25. In addition, the weekly lower earnings limit, below which employees don’t qualify for these payments, is set to increase to £118 from 6 April 2019.

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