Employment Law Update │April 2022
Employment Law Update │April 2022
In this article James Mallon, our HR Business Partner provides us with an essential employment law update for April 2022.
1. Employment law changes to covid
Under the government’s new “Living with Covid” plan, many Covid measures have ended on 1 April 2022. This includes:
- Lateral Flow Tests are now no longer free.
- Employers no longer have to explicitly refer to Covid in their health and safety risk assessments.
- The guidance on self-isolation has also been changed. The new guidance advises anyone with symptoms of a respiratory infection and a high temperature or who feels unwell to remain at home until they feel well enough to undertake normal activities and no longer have a high temperature. Anyone receiving a positive Covid test result is now also advised to try to stay at home for five days. The new guidance also recommends that anyone with symptoms or a positive test result who needs to leave their home should avoid close contact with those with weakened immune systems, wear a face covering and avoid crowded places.
2. Statutory Rates Increase
Since 1 April 2022, the new National Minimum Wage/Living Wage rates are:
National Minimum Wage
- Age 23 + (national living wage) – £9.50 from £8.91
- Age 21-22 – £9.18 from £8.36
- Age 18 – 20 – £6.83 from £6.56
- Age 16-17 – £4.81 from £4.62
The accommodation offset has also risen to £8.70 per day.
There has also been some changes to the family-related benefits. On 3 April 2022, the rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay rose from £151.97 to £156.66 per week.
Statutory Sick Pay
On 6 April 2022, SSP increased from £96.35 to £99.35 per week. Also, please note that in England and Wales there are no longer any special rules entitling employees to SSP because of Covid.
Unfair Dismissal/ Redundancy Pay
On 6 April 2022, the limit on a statutory week’s pay increased to £571 (up from £544) in England and Wales. This means that the maximum statutory redundancy payment and unfair dismissal basic award is now £17,130. The cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal has also increased from £89,493 to £93,878.
The “Vento Bands” refer to the compensation available as the “Injury to Feeling” Award in a successful discrimination claim. For claims presented on or after 6 April 2022 in Employment Tribunals in England or Wales, the new Vento bands are as follows:
- lower band – £990 to £9,900 (less serious cases);
- middle band – £9,900 to £29,600 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band); and
- upper band – £29,600 to £49,300 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £49,300.
Social care levy
The Health and Social Care levy has now been introduced UK-wide, starting on 6 April 2022 and will be collected initially via a 1.25% increase in NICs for working-age employees, the self-employed and employers.
3. Right to Work Checks
A new digital right to work check system was introduced on 6 April 2022. Employers can use government-certified identification document validation technology (IDVT) to check the right to work of the UK and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport. From 30 September 2022 the adjusted Right to Work check measures (allowing employers to carry out right to work checks by video call and accept scans and photos of documents, rather than the originals) will end. Employers can continue to use these adjusted measures until 30 September 2022, however.
4. Agency Workers’ Rights in Employment Law
Agency workers have the right to be notified of vacancies with the hirer, but this does not go so far as to give agency workers the right to apply for the posts, according to the Court of Appeal in Kocur v Angarad Staffing Solutions Ltd . Mr Kocur had challenged the Royal Mail’s practice of allowing directly employed staff to apply for vacancies before agency staff could apply. The Court of Appeal found the practice was lawful.
We strongly advise that you review all policies within your business to ensure they are up to date with the latest legal requirements to ensure your business remains protected. If you are struggling to make the changes, wish to discuss them further or want to know how our expert team can help, feel free to get in contact
T: 0844 800 5932