2022 is the year when lockdown fully eased in England. With everyone focusing on the remaining restrictions easing, companies could easily miss the big employment law changes coming into force in less than a month’s time.
April is always a busy time for employment law, so don’t get caught unaware when it comes around.
April 2022 Changes
Increase to the minimum wage and other statutory rates
The government has confirmed that minimum wage rates will increase from April 2022. The rates are to change as follows:
- National Living Wage (23+) £8.91 £9.50
- 21-22 Year Old Rate £8.36 £9.18
- 18-20 Year Old Rate £6.56 £6.83
- 16-17 Year Old Rate £4.62 £4.81
- Apprentice Rate £4.30 £4.81
- Accommodation Offset £8.36 £8.70
Family friendly leave rates are also changing. This includes maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, and parental bereavement leave. This will go from £151.97 to £156.66 per week.
6th April Changes
From 6th April 2022, tribunal awards will also be increasing. The basic award for unfair dismissal will increase from £16,320 to £17,130. The compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £89,493 to £93.878 or 52 week's pay (whichever is lower). Finally, the additional award for unfair dismissal will increase from £14,144 - £28,288 to £14,846 - £29,692.
The lower earnings limit is also increase on 6th April 2022. This is increasing from £120 per week, to £123 per week.
Statutory sick pay (SSP) is also set to change from £96.35 per week to £99.35 per week on 6th April too.
Gender pay gap reporting
If you have at least 250 members of staff, that means you’ve had to publish annual gender pay gap reports since 2018. The Government paused the compulsory production of gender pay gap reports in 2020. However, they brought it back in 2021, and it remains a legal requirement today.
Your report should outline the differences in the average earnings between men and women in your company. To do this you should take a snapshot of your company’s pay data on a specific date. For 2022 this ‘snapshot date’ will be 30 March 2021 for public sector companies. If you are a private company, then the 5 April 2020 is your snapshot date.
Last year, the reporting deadlines were delayed. However, in 2022, the deadlines have reverted back to their normal slot:
- 30th March 2022 for public sector employers
- 4th April 2022 for private sector employers and voluntary organisations.
From the 1st April the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings will be removed. Also, the government will no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass.
For full insight into all of the COVID changes coming up in the next few months, check out our article on self-isolation & other COVID updates here.
Other upcoming changes
2022 could turn into an incredibly busy year for HR, with a number of changes set to be put in motion without a concrete date. This includes:
- Flexible working – following a consultation, the government is considering the option to allow employees to request flexible working from day one of employment.
- Ethnicity and disability pay gap reporting – 2022 could see the first real step towards standardising this type of report.
- Data protection – the ICO is due to issue updated employment practice guidance on data this year.
- Sexual harassment – A new duty for employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace is expected to come into force this year.
- Right-to-work checks – The scheme became digital as a result of the pandemic, and was met with overwhelming positive feedback. As a result, the government is set to make the change permanent later this year.
- Modern Slavery – Reforms to the Modern Slavery Act are expected late this year. When this happens, you may need to review your anti-slavery statements.
Call our experienced employment law advisors
If you’re concerned about any of the upcoming changes in April, or beyond, speak to one of our experts today for confidential, professional advice on 01455 858 132.
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