April is always a very busy time in the world of HR and whether you have one or one hundred employees it is vital that you always keep up to date with employment law, amending your contracts and policies accordingly.
Following many delays due to Covid-19 there are several important updates that business owners need to know about this year and in this blog, we break them down for you.
Increases to National Minimum and National Living Wage from 1st April
New rates were announced at the end of last year and from the beginning of April they will be as follows:
23 and over: £10.42 (National Living Wage)
21-22: £10.18 per hour
18-20: £7.49 per hour
16-17: £5.28 per hour
Apprentice: £5.28 per hour
Additional May Bank Holiday
An additional bank holiday has been added on Monday 8th May following King Charles III coronation on Saturday 6th May.
It is important to know that a bank holiday doesn’t mean a statutory right to a day off and we recommend that you refer to your contract of employment to confirm what employees are entitled to.
Family Friendly Payments & Sick Pay from 2nd April
Family-friendly payments will increase to £172.48 from £156.66 (this includes maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay). Statutory sick pay will also increase from £99.35 to £109.40 per week.
Statutory Guarantee Pay from 6th April
Statutory Guarantee Pay (SGP) is the payment made while an employee is laid off, and is a daily rate paid on any days where an employee is laid off, to a maximum of a normal working week, every 13 weeks. The daily rate from 6 April 2023 will be £35.
Cost of Living Crisis
While this is not an employment law update both employees and business owners alike are feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, and this is a good opportunity to consider any changes or adjustments that you may be able to make.
As well as ensuring that all employees that are due a pay rise in April have that implemented smoothly, you can also take this opportunity to remind employees of any existing company benefits that you have in place or look to enhance them further still.
Expected updates to keep an eye on in 2023
Since the pandemic there have been several delays to updates in employment law, but 2023 is set to be a year of change and reform and here are some of the main topics that are expected to feature heavily over the upcoming months:
The Flexible Working Bill intends to amend the existing statutory regime so that flexible working requests can be made from day one (there is currently a 26-week service requirement).
This bill makes provision for employees to take one week’s unpaid leave each year for the purpose of caring for a dependent with a long-term care need. There is government backing but no implementation as it currently stands.
Changes are planned to introduce a right to paid leave for eligible employees with a child who is receiving or has received neonatal care.
The Workers Protection Bill introduces a new duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and reinstates employer liability for third-party harassment.
Enhanced Redundancy Protection
The government is backing the Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination Bill, which proposes to introduce regulations to extend protection to employees during their pregnancy and after they return to work from maternity leave.
Retained EU Law
The Retained EU Law Bill provides that all retained EU law contained in secondary legislation will be revoked by 31 December 2023 unless a decision has been made before then to preserve it.
This Bill would require employers to allow an employee to take paid time off work to attend fertility treatment appointments.
This landmark Bill would ensure 3 days of paid bereavement leave for people who have sadly experienced miscarriage. There is currently no legal provision for paid leave for people who unfortunately suffer the loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks, meaning many employees are forced to return to work immediately after suffering such a loss.
We hope you have found this blog helpful and as always please feel free to contact Natalie with any questions that you may have via the button below.
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