Employment Law Updates April 2022

I’m sure you’ve heard us going on before, but remember if you have employees, it is absolutely vital you stay on top of – and adhere to – all employment law regulations.

But, I hear you ask, what does that actually mean?

Simply put, employment law provides legislation on all of the areas that effect (and can protect) both employers and employees. This covers things like dismissal, discrimination, pay and even holidays.

The legislation is designed to protect both parties; looking after employee rights and safeguarding employers’ interests, keeping and maintaining a fair relationship between the two.

With 4 million limited companies in the UK employing around 21 million full time employees, it’s really important you are aware of it, adhere to and don’t fall foul of it – otherwise it can be very costly!

UK employment law details things like what should be covered in a contract of employment (we’re talking disciplinaries, notice periods, holiday entitlements etc.) and it protects employers by ensuring that everyone has a clear record of the agreement.

It also works to protect employees by ensuring they are recruited fairly, they receive fair pay for the role they undertake and it sets out what is expected of them.

Simply put, employment law is a huge area of the legal system and covers every part of the employer/employee relationship.

In April every year there are key changes in employment Law – in 2022 you need to be aware if the following:

1st April – National Minimum Wage rates will increase as follows:

  • £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.

You should check your pay rates against the new minimum wage rates and ensure that, where necessary, they increase remuneration for the first pay reference period beginning on or after 1 April 2022 for anyone receiving the minimum.

3rd April – Family Friendly rates will increase including statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay.  The new rates of pay are £156.66, up from £151.97.

6th April – Change to Right to Work Checks come into effectYou can carry out a document (e.g. passport) check or, depending on the circumstances, use the Home Office online right to work service. For document checks, original documents must normally be seen but a temporary relaxation has allowed employers to make checks remotely because of the pandemic which although was due to end on 6 April 2022 but has now been extended to the end of September 2022.

6th April – Increase to Statutory Sickness Pay to £99.35 per week, up from £96.35.

6th April – there is also an increase to the Compensation Limits, Statutory Guarantee Pay and weekly Redundancy Payments.  More detail below:

Payments                                                From 6 April 2021From 6 April 2022
Limit on guarantee payments£30£31
Limit on a week’s pay for calculating redundancy and unfair dismissal basic award£544£571
Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment (30 weeks’ pay subject to the limit on week’s pay)£16,320£17,130
Minimum basic award for dismissal on trade union, health and safety, occupational pension scheme trustee, employee representative and on working time grounds only£6,634£6,959
Maximum award for unlawful inducement relating to trade union membership or activities, or collective bargaining£4,341£4,554
Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissalA year’s pay subject to max cap of £89,493A year’s pay subject to max cap of £93,878
Minimum compensation for employees excluded/expelled from trade union£10,132£10,628
Contract claims (if a claim for breach of contract (e.g. wrongful dismissal) is brought in an employment tribunal, compensation is capped at £25,000. If the claim is for more than £25,000, it can be made in the county court or high court£25,000£25,000

As you can see, some big increases and costs there if things aren’t right!  Make sure you’re doing everything the right way.

6th April – the National Insurance Contributions will increase to 1.25%

6th April – the Lower Earnings Limit will increase for the first time in 2 years from £120 to £123

How do you keep on top of these changes and others?  You would be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the task of getting your business up to date with the constant changes but it’s also worth keeping in mind that these laws are in place to protect you and your employees.

If you were to run a checklist, how do you think you would rate yourself?  Why not download our checklist here FOR FREE and have a look.

There’s no pressure but if you are worried with the results and think it is time to get a professional in give me a call and we can work out a plan of action together ensuring you stay away from tribunals and those costly compensation payments mentioned above