Statutory payment rates published for new tax year - 14/12/2020

The government has published a list of its proposed benefit and pension rates for 2021/22 and this includes the new statutory payment rates. What are they?

The government’s policy paper confirms that:

  • the standard weekly rates of statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory adoption pay (SAP), statutory paternity pay (SPP), statutory shared parental pay (ShPP) and statutory parental bereavement pay (SPBP) will increase from £151.20 to £151.97 (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if that is less than the statutory rate)
  • the weekly rate of statutory sick pay (SSP) will increase from £95.85 to £96.35.

The increase to the lower earnings limit (LEL), below which employees do not qualify for these statutory payment rates, is still to be confirmed. It’s currently £120 per week.

The policy paper 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 2021, and the increases to SMP, SAP, SPP, ShPP and SPBP tend to take effect from the first Sunday in April, which next year is Sunday, 4 April 2021.

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 2021.

Subject to final approval by Parliament, from 4 April 2021 the standard weekly rates of SMP, SAP, SPP, ShPP and SPBP will increase to £151.97 and from 6 April 2020 the weekly rate of SSP will rise to £96.35. These are very modest increases to the statutory payment rates of just over 0.5%.

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