There are a number of employment law changes in 2022 which employers need to consider.
National Minimum Wage Increase
From 1 April 2022 the national minimum wage hourly rates increase to:
- £8.91 to £9.50 for workers aged 23 and over (the national living wage)
- £8.36 to £9.18 for workers aged 21 or 22
- £6.56 to £6.83 for workers aged 18 to 20
- £4.62 to £4.81 for workers aged under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age, and
- £4.30 to £4.81 for apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship.
Employers should write to employees to confirm the change.
Increase in Family Friendly Rates
From 3 April 2022 the rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay will increase to £156.66, up from £151.97. The increase normally takes effect on the first Sunday in April, which in 2022 is 3 April.
Increase in Statutory Sick Pay
The rate for statutory sick pay will also rise on 6 April 2022. The new rate will be £99.35, up from £96.35.
Increase in Redundancy Pay Rates
From 6 April 2022 the maximum weekly statutory redundancy payment rate rises to £544 per week. This rate applies to employees with at least two years service.
Right to Work Checks
From 6 April 2022 employers will have to undertake right to work checks on a face to face basis. Currently checks may be carried out remotely and were introduced so that UK based employers could recruit employees more easily from overseas.
Increase in bank holiday entitlement
To celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee an additional bank holiday is being awarded on Friday 3 June 2022. The late May bank holiday is being moved to 2 June.
Depending on the wording of the employment contract an employer may contractually not be obliged to provide employees with the extra bank holiday. However, they may consider doing so as a goodwill gesture and to ensur morale.
There are other possible changes on the horizon which the government is proposing to introduce. These may take place in 2022.
Extension to redundancy provisions
In order to prevent pregnancy/maternity discrimination in redundancy the government intends to extend the protection a woman receives on return from maternity leave for up to six months whereby they are automatically offered a vacant position to prevent redundancy. However, the woman must have the skills to undertake the role. They currently do have a right to be offered a vacant role if they have the skills if redundancy to avoid redundancy whilst on maternity leave.
Extended leave for neonatal care
Following consultation the government published a response in March 2020 confirming that parents of babies that are admitted into hospital as a neonate (28 days old or fewer) will be eligible for neonatal leave and pay if the admission lasts for a continuous period of seven days or more. They will be entitled to this from day one of their employment and up to a maximum of 12 weeks. More details will need to be published.
Carers will be given the right to one weeks unpaid leave. The details have yet to be published.
The government is proposing to introduce flexible working as the default setting unless an employer can justify otherwise. The details have yet to be published.
A new duty will be placed on employers to prevent sexual harassment and third party harassment. The details have yet to be published.