The National Living Wage is rising – Is your firm ready?

A significant rise in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) is set to take effect on 1 April 2024.

From this date, all workers in the UK will be entitled to a per-hour wage of:

  • £11.44 – 21 years old and over
  • £8.60 – 18 to 20 years old
  • £6.40 – Under 18 years old and apprentices

You’ll need to have any mandated pay rises in place before this point and have that reflected in employment contracts.

Proportional pay rises

NMW and NLW rises often result in proportional pay rises for staff paid above these thresholds to maintain pay differentials.

If you can offer these, it may be prudent to do so as a reflection of the high level of skill involved in the legal sector and, if your firm based in London or the South East, higher living costs than in other parts of the country.

When delivering proportional pay increases, it’s essential that you properly assess your ability to meet running costs with more money going towards staff costs.

We can help you to put a financial plan in place that allows you to offer higher pay to staff without compromising on other areas of the business.

Managing your payroll

Implementing pay increases in practice means that your payroll needs to be up to date. If it isn’t, staff could be underpaid and this could result in penalties to your firm.

You’re more at risk of this if your payroll is handled in-house without the financial experts of an accountant on staff.

We can help you to manage your payroll without you having to take time away from client-facing, fee-earning work.

This will also help you to ensure that the right amount of tax is being paid by each employee and by you as your employer National Insurance Contributions will rise in line with any pay increases awarded.

Remember that non-compliance with pay and tax regulations can be hugely damaging to your firm if you fail to get it right first time.

Don’t worry though – we can help.

Contact our team today to get take your payroll up a notch.