Welcome back to the Whitcombe HR blog!
Every year in April the government announces new employment legislation that as an employer you need to know about.
From the Jubilee Bank Holiday to National Living Wage and Right to Work Checks we have outlined everything that you need to know about in 2022.
If you would like any advice or support regarding the topics discussed below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
Rate Changes & Increases
National Living Wage/ Minimum wage Increase
From 1st April the National Living Wage will increase from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour for employees aged 23 and over.
For those under 23 years of age the increase will change as follows:
Ages 21-22: £8.36 to £9.18
Ages 18-20: £6.56 to £6.83
Under 18: £4.62 to £4.81
Apprentices will also increase from £4.30 to £4.81.
Statutory Payments (Sick pay, Redundancy Pay and Family Related Pay)
From 6th April Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £96.35 to £99.35 per week.
Statutory Redundancy Pay will also increase from £544 to £571 per week.
Statutory Family Related Pay (i.e., maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, and parental bereavement) will also increase from £151.97 to £156.66 per week, from 3rd April 2022.
Jubilee Bank Holiday
Although this is not an employment law, it is worth noting that the Jubilee Bank Holiday means there is now an additional bank holiday to factor into 2022.
Celebration of the Queen’s platinum jubilee will take place on Friday 3rd June and the late may bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2nd June.
This is likely to be a busy period for many companies and there may also be an increase in annual leave requests too. Now would be a good time to plan ahead and check your contracts of employment.
You may be wondering if you legally have to honour the extra bank holiday and this all depends on what your contract states.
For example, if the contract states that the employee will be entitled to x days annual leave ‘plus eight bank holidays’ then there is no legal entitlement to an extra bank holiday. However, if the contract states that the employee will be entitled to x days annual leave ‘plus bank holidays’, then there would be an entitlement to an extra bank holiday.
Right to Work checks
Throughout the pandemic employers have been able to carry out right to work checks using scanned documentation (as opposed to originals) and via video calls.
This was due to end in April however the government have now deferred this to September 2022.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
After going on hold due to the pandemic in 2020 and a change of deadline in 2021, gender pay gap reporting returns to its more familiar place in 2022.
Organisations with 250 or more employees are required to publish their gender pay gap report by 4th April 2022 (30th March 2022 for public sector employers).
Reports must be published on the company website as well as on the government’s gender pay gap portal.
A much-anticipated part of the 2022 employment law changes is the Employment Bill.
Although it has not been confirmed whether this will feature or not, the Employment Bill will include several important topics including:
It is currently under consultation to seek whether there needs to be a reform to flexible working rights including the removal of the current 26 weeks’ service requirements.
Flexible working can be particularly valuable for those who need to balance their personal lives with their working lives, including those with caring responsibilities. It can also bring benefits to employers – attracting more applicants and increasing productivity and motivation levels among staff.
Extension of protection against redundancy
This includes pregnancy, maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave, including extending redundancy protection to six months post return to work after the end of maternity leave, with similar protection afforded to those returning to work from adoption leave and shared parental leave.
New rules requiring organisations to publish their modern slavery statements on the government registry.
The introduction of 12 weeks’ neonatal leave and pay for parents of premature babies who require specialist care in a neonatal unit. This would be in addition to the current entitlement to maternity and paternity pay and leave.
Other topics included in the proposed Employment Bill are:
New rules making it illegal for employers to make deductions from staff tips.
Changes to sexual harassment laws to introduce a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, and an extension on the time limit for bringing a claim.
An extension of time required to break a period of continuous service from one week to four weeks.
A new right for casual workers to request a more stable contract after 26 weeks service.
Changes to the rules on confidentiality agreements to ensure they can’t be used to prevent workers from speaking to the police about criminal matters.
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