Being prepared for employment law helps you to manage your business. Here’s what is happening in 2022 and what’s on the horizon.
30th March/4th April: publish your gender pay gap report
The next gender pay gap reporting deadline is 30 March 2022 for public-sector employers and 4 April 2022 for private-sector and voluntary-sector employers.
Organisations must publish reports on their website and on the gender pay gap reporting portal on the GOV.UK website.
Employers can choose to provide a narrative around any gender pay gap, including providing an explanation for their pay gap and setting out what steps they are taking to reduce the gap.
1st April: national minimum wage increases
The rates for the national minimum wage will increase on 1st April 2022. The hourly rate of the minimum wage will increase from:
£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.
3rd /6th April: increase statutory family-related pay and sick pay
The rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay will increase to £156.66, up from £151.97 on the first Sunday in April, which in 2022 is 3 April.
The rate for statutory sick pay will also rise on 6 April 2022. The new rate will be £99.35 ( up from £96.35).
If any of your policies state the rates, these will need updating.
6th April: temporary right-to-work checks guidance
From 30th March 2020, temporary guidance on right-to-work checks has been in place to allow employers to conduct checks without seeing the individual face to face. Checks can be carried out via video and scanned, or photo versions of the original required documents can be used.
Employers have a defence against a civil penalty if they complete a right-to-work check in accordance with the temporary adjustments. As long as employers followed the temporary guidance, they are not expected to carry out face-to-face checks retrospectively.
However, these temporary measures are due to last only until 5 April 2022.
6th April: update your statutory redundancy pay calculations
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay will come into force on 6 April 2022.
The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount (£544 from 6 April 2021). The new amount will be confirmed in the draft Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2022, which is due to be published in February.
2nd /3rd June: manage bank holiday entitlement during platinum jubilee
The government has announced an additional bank holiday in 2022 (Friday 3 June), to celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee. In addition, the late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June.
Employers need to look at how they will approach the additional bank holiday. This will be determined to some extent by the wording in employees’ contracts of employment. Even if the employer is not contractually obliged to grant the extra day as leave, it may choose to do so as a goodwill gesture to employees (for example in reward of their hard work during the pandemic).
Employers need to plan well in advance for potential staffing issues. They may need extra staff if their business will be particularly busy on those days and they may see a spike in requests for annual leave around this time.
All year round: look out for other changes on the horizon
Other employment law developments that the government has previously announce, but not yet set out a timetable for include:
changes to the right to request flexible working procedure
the introduction of statutory carers’ leave
the introduction of neonatal leave and pay
extended redundancy protections during pregnancy and maternity leave
reforms to the requirement to produce modern slavery statements
reforms to sexual harassment laws
amendments to the rules on settlement agreements
new provisions to give workers the right to request a more predictable and stable contractual working pattern, and
new rules to ensure that tips are passed to workers in full.
On addition we may see new laws on vaccinations and the right to test.
Employment law updates will be shared on our website and our social media.