2022 - What to Look Out for in Employment Law

By Andrew Willis
05 Jan 2022
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After another year of massive challenges and changes, how should business leaders like you approach 2022? Important employment law updates already confirmed for the year to come will affect your business plans. Learn about them now and keep updated so you can prepare ahead of time.

In this article, we will look at the employment law updates that you should expect. We will also mention other proposals that the government might consider this year. The proposal for employees right to request flexible working from day one of their employment is one of them.

What about Covid? While most Covid-related legislation has ended (furlough, shielding, etc.), vaccination related requirements will come into place. Also, some legislation has been re-opened, such as the SSP Rebate Scheme.

mandatory covid vaccination


Employment law update 1 - mandatory Covid vaccination

Since November 2021, care homes in the UK can only allow vaccinated persons to enter their settings. The government also names the few applicable exceptions, here.

What is changing then into the new year? From April 2022, this legal requirement will extend to the wider health and social care setting. That means any CQC regulated facility, such as a day centre for disabled people. It will also apply to staff working in GP practices and hospitals.

With the Omicron variant having triggered a national booster vaccines campaign, and researchers discussing the possibility of further variants, we expect to see further developments that will affect the employment market.

Our health & safety advisors are only one call away, 24/7, to help you manages Covid related challenges. Call us today on 01455 858 132.

Employment law update 2 – National Minimum Wage

UK employers see changes to National Minimum Wage in force starting April 2022, and the new rates are:

  • £9.50 for employees aged over 22
  • £9.18 for employees aged 21-22
  • £6.83 for employees aged 18-20
  • £4.81 for employees aged 16-17 and for apprentices
  • £8.70 as accommodation offset

We see the biggest increase, of almost 12%, to the apprenticeship rate, in line with the government programme to boost work-based education.

Make sure you update the wages you pay your employees and any apprentices you might decide to take on board. Don’t risk getting caught in the wrong and see yourself included in the name and shame government initiatives.

With us, you can access our salary benchmarking tool for a better overall view of how to expect to pay your employees in 2022. It isn’t only about meeting the minimum requirements, but also about attracting and keeping the best employees.

digital right to work checks


Employment law update 3 – digital right to work checks

Employers who hire staff from abroad must, according to law, check their eligibility to take up employment in the UK. To simplify the process, during the pandemic the government put in place a digital system for the Right to work checks.

Initially, organisations could only use the digital system up to September 2021. However, the Government confirmed this week that digital right to work checks will become permanent from April 2022.

This will prove particularly relevant to the social care sector. Care homes and similar organisations can now benefit from the 12 months visa as the Health and Care scheme has expanded into 2022.

If unsure of how to benefit from this scheme, or how to manage the necessary checks, call our friendly and experienced advisors, on 01455 858 132.

Employment law update 4 - gender pay gap reporting

Every year, companies with at least 250 employees need to fill in and submit their report on gender pay gap. This applies to both private and public sector companies, with the only difference reflected in the deadline.

In 2022, employers in the private and voluntary sector have a deadline set for April 5th, 2022. Most public sector organisations need to submit their report earlier, by March 31st, 2022. After these dates, they risk government enforcement action.

What has changed, considering that the law requires employers to do this every year? Due to the pandemic, the obligation to report on the gender pay gap has been suspended for the previous year. Companies could still submit their files on a voluntary basis.

gender pay gap reporting


Possible developments into the new year

Besides the above already announced employment law updates into 2022, the government has seen other suggestions that might turn into law. We will list them in here for awareness, and we’ll keep you updated with any future changes.

The most important suggestion to change the current terms of the employment law refer to:

  • Recognising menopause discrimination by law
  • Recognising new rights for carers and working parents
  • Recognising worker’s right to request for flexible working from day one of employment

The government launched a consultation in the later of the three, which has closed in September 2021. We are now awaiting for the results of this to be published.

Stay updated with Croner

Changes can feel overwhelming, especially when a lot happens over a relatively short period of time. We all deal with challenging situations better when we understand what to expect. As the local and global economy feel more fluid than ever, you don’t have to face it all on your own. We will help you prepare and deal with any employment law or health and safety aspects you might struggle with.

Call our 24/7 help line today and share your concerns with us, on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in employment law, HR and commercial legal advice for small & large organisations across the United Kingdom.

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