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What to expect from employment law in 2022

Posted on June 5, 2022
Jefferies Law Southend what to expect from employment law in 2022

As we enter Q2 of 2022 and the new financial year, we have been reviewing any and all changes to employment laws in the UK to help you to make sure you’re on top of changing legislation. In this article, we’ll break down the headline amendments and outline what changes you need to make to ensure your business is keeping up.

As well as changes to the coronavirus legislation in April, we’ve also seen the effects of March’s budget in some changes to the laws around pay levels. We’re seeing both brand new employment laws and updated legislation. It’s important for employers to stay on top of employment law as it evolves and ensure that they are acting within that law wherever their employees are concerned.

Employment law after coronavirus

All remaining coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England at the beginning of April with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland soon following suit. This has had an impact on all employment laws that were created specifically around the pandemic.

Working from home is no longer suggested for those who can, and perhaps most crucially, proof of vaccination is no longer mandatory for those working within the health and social care sector.

From 1 April, guidance on voluntary covid status certification in domestic settings was officially removed, and the government withdrew recommendations for large and enclosed venues to use the NHS covid pass app.

Increase in the minimum wage

As of 1 April, the minimum wage in the UK increased. The National Living Wage increased from £8.91 to £9.50, whereas the National Minimum Wage raised from £4.62 to £4.81 (16-17 years old), £6.56 to £6.83 (18-20 years old), and £8.36 to £9.18 (21-22 years old).

Employers should check their rates of pay and adapt/ increase where appropriate, to ensure they are still operating within the law.

Statutory Sick Pay, redundancy, and family pay increases

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) increased in April from £96.35 to £99.35 per week. Statutory sick pay must be paid by employers for up to 28 weeks if an eligible employee is too ill to work.

As well as SSP, the capped weekly rate for various types of parental pay has also changed as of 3 April; including statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental leave, and adoption pay. The new rate will be £156.66, increasing from £151.97.

Statutory redundancy pay is also increasing. The maximum amount considered a ‘week’s pay’ has increased from £544 to £571.

The Employment Bill

One change that we were expecting, was the progression of The Employment Bill into law. This was announced in 2019 and is set to change a number of employment laws, however, this has not progressed as expected. The bill did have a second reading in March but is now set to become legislation later in 2022.

The Employment Bill, among other changes, seeks to:

  • Make flexible working the default position for employees
  • Establish a single labour market enforcement agency, responsible for the basic rights of vulnerable workers
  • Ensure that tips and service charges are passed directly to workers
  • Extend redundancy protections – including alternative employment opportunities and protection for pregnant employees and those returning from parental leave
  • Unpaid statutory leave for carers

We’re here for you

If you’re not sure how these or any other changes to employment laws might affect you and your business, you can get in touch with Jefferies Law, Essex today. We’re your friendly, local employment lawyers in Southend and Chelmsford, helping you to identify how to keep yourself and your employees protected and following the rules.

Speak to an expert today

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