Employment Law Changes – April 2022

The tax year is drawing to a close. Legislation has been laid before parliament and will come into force on 6 April 2022 for England, Scotland and Wales.

Here is a summary of the changes heading your way if you are an employer.

NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE (NMW)

The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage will be increasing with effect from 1 April 2022.

The new rates will be:

  • £8.91 to £9.50 for those aged 23 and over (the National Living Wage) 
  • £8.36 to £9.18 for those aged 21 or 22
  • £6.56 to £6.83 for those aged 18 to 20
  • £4.62 to £4.81 for those aged under 18, 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.

Consider setting a reminder in your HR systems for 2 months before employee birthdays so you can update their salaries in good time. Make sure that any lawful deductions such as for uniforms or Covid testing don’t take their salary.

STATUTORY FAMILY FRIENDLY PAYMENTS

These are payments relating to Maternity, Adoption, Paternity, Shared-Parental and Parental Bereavement leave. They will increase from £151.97 to £156.66 on 3 April 2022.

STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP)

This will also increase from £96.35 to £99.35

LOWER EARNINGS LIMIT (LEL)

This will increase for the first time in two years from £120 to £123.

The lower earnings limit is set each tax year by the government. Even if an employee earns more than the lower earnings limit (LEL), they are not required to pay primary, class one national insurance contributions until their earnings reach the primary threshold.

STATUTORY REDUNDANCY PAY

When calculating statutory redundancy payments be aware that new limits on employment statutory redundancy will come into play, meaning redundancy pay is calculated based on weekly pay, length of service and age, if someone has been employed for over two years.  The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2022 sets the new limit at £571 per week. This is an increase of £27 from the 2021/22 rate.

COMPENSATION AT EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNALS

The below table produced by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) shows the other rates set in the statutory instrument:

RIGHT TO WORK CHECKS

If you have staff who are EEA biometric residence card holders (BRC), the right-to-work checking process is changing. From 6 April you must now carry out checks via the Home Office online checking service.

GENDER PAY

The reporting deadline for the Gender Pay Gap is fast approaching. Public sector employers must file reports by 30 March while private sector employers have until 4 April.

If your audit has highlighted that you have a gender pay disparity but you are trying to fix it, you can explain that in the report in more detail.

IR35

We are almost at the first anniversary (6 April) of the IR35 rule changes. As you will be aware this put the responsibility for checking the employment status of a contractor and making a decision about whether IR35 applied, onto the employer.

It is always good practice to annually review this and ensure your organisation is fully compliant.

AND FINALLY

If you are a retained client of Amelore, we will be in contact to arrange a review of all your documentation to ensure full compliance and we will also offer you an annual no cost compliance audit.

Get in touch with us if you would like a review of your current HR compliance to identify an action plan.