April 2022 brings with it a number of changes for employment law and below we have listed the main changes employers should look out for.
You may also find our 2022 employment facts and figures handout a useful tool when dealing with employees – you can find this here in our downloads section.
Increases in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
From 1 April 2022, the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage rates will increase as follows:
Aged 23 and over: £9.50 per hour
Aged 21 – 22: £9.18 per hour
Aged 18 - 20: £6.83 per hour
Aged 16 – 17: £4.81 per hour
Apprentice: £4.81 per hour
Accommodation Offset: £8.70 per day / £60.90 a week
Increases in Family Friendly Payments
From 3 April 2022, the following increases in family friendly payments will come into force:
Statutory Maternity Pay: 90% of normal weekly earnings for 6 weeks (higher rate).
Statutory Adoption Pay: £156.66 a week or 90% of normal weekly earnings if lower for 33 weeks (basic rate).
Statutory Paternity Pay: £156.66 a week or 90% of normal weekly earnings if lower for 2 weeks.
Shared Parental Pay: £156.66 a week or 90% of normal weekly earnings if lower for 39 weeks less any time taken by the mother or adopter.
Parental Bereavement Leave Pay: £156.66 a week or 90% of normal weekly earnings if lower for 2 weeks.
Maternity Allowance: £156.66 a week or 90% of normal weekly earnings if lower for 39 weeks.
Calculating Redundancy Payments and Unfair Dismissal Compensation
From 6 April 2022, a weeks’ pay for the purposes of calculating a statutory redundancy payment and a basic award for unfair dismissal claims, will increase to a maximum of £571.
The maximum basic award for unfair dismissal claims is £16,320.
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal claims is £93,878.
New Vento Bands
From 6 April 2022 the bands of awards for injury to feelings (discrimination and personal injury cases), known as the Vento bands, will increase as follows:
Lower band: £900 to £9,900 (less serious cases)
Middle band: £9,900 to £29,600 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)
Upper band: £29,900 to £49,300 (the most serious cases - with the most exceptional cases exceeding this).
Gender Pay Gap Report
Employers have 12 months to publish their gender pay gap figures from the relevant snapshot date, being 31 March for the public sector and 5 April for the private and voluntary sectors. Therefore, the gender pay gap reporting deadlines this year are 30 March 2022 for public-sector employers and 4 April 2022 for private-sector and voluntary-sector employers.
Right to Work Checks
As of 6 April 2022, Biometric Residence Card (BRXC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders will no longer be able to present physical BRPs, BRCs or FWPs to evidence their right to work in the UK. These must now be checked online. Employees must provide employers with their date of birth and share code. Manual right to work checks will no longer support a statutory defence.
The Home Office has confirmed, however, that retrospective checks on individuals who presented physical BRPs, BRCs or FWPs up to and including 5 April 2022, will not be required.
In April 2022, HMRC will end its one-year suspension on penalties for private sector businesses who mistakenly breach the new IR35 off-payroll working rules. Organisations should therefore ensure their processes for hiring contract and freelance labour are IR35 compliant to avoid an investigation from HMRC and potential tax liabilities and penalties.
PPE for Workers
Employers have a duty to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to ‘employees’ who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work. From 6 April 2022, the duties on will be extended to limb (b) workers. Limb (b) workers are those who generally have a more casual employment relationship and work under a contract for service.
If you would like to know more about any of the above, please do get in touch with our Employment Team.