In 2022 there are several Employment Law Changes that will take place.
It is crucial all employers are aware of these.
The changes include:
Social Care Levy
This is a new tax which is to provide funding for social care in the future.
From April 2022 there is to be a 1.25% increase in National Insurance Contributions that are paid by both employers and employees, that are subject to class 1 contributions.
In 2023 the new tax will replace the national insurance contribution increases, as instead of the increase it will be a 1.25% surcharge.
National Minimum Wage Increase
From 1st April 2022 the national living wage and national minimum wage will increase to the following:
- Age 23 and over increase to £9.50 from £8.91
- Age 21-22 increase to £9.18 from £8.36
- Age 18-20 increase to £6.83 from £6.56
- Age 16-17 increase to £4.81 from £4.62
- Apprentice rate increase to £4.81 from £4.30
Statutory Family Leave pay
From 3rd April 2022 the maximum weekly statutory maternity, adoption, share parental, paternity and parental bereavement pay will increase to £156.66 per week from £151.97.
Statutory sick pay
From 6th April 2022 Statutory sick Pay will increase to £99.35 per week from £96.35.
Also, in line with the above, the average gross weekly earnings to qualify for the above statutory payments (lower earnings limit) will increase to £123 from £120
Gender Pay Gap reporting
The 2021 deadline for the gender pay gap reporting was delayed from April 2021 to 4th October 2021. This delay was to allow employers extra time to meet the reporting obligations required.
There has not yet been an extension announced for 2022 so the reporting deadline for the private sector will be 4th April 2022.
The Employment Bill
The Employment Bill may come into force in 2022 although the Government have not yet confirmed which of the measures will be included or a date for this to happen.
The Employment Bill is likely to cover provisions on the following:
- Creation of a single enforcement body
- The right for all workers to request a more stable and predictable contract of employment after they have completed 26 weeks’ service
- Extend the redundancy protection during pregnancy and maternity from the point an employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy, until six months after their maternity leave ends
- Introduction of statutory neonatal care leave, including pay up to 12 weeks, for parents of babies admitted into neonatal aged 28 days or less
- Unpaid carers to have the right to take a week of unpaid carers leave per year
- The right to make a flexible working request may be extended to apply from day 1 of employment, rather than 26 weeks.
Possible other changes to look out for
The Government have also been in consultation over the last few years on various other topics, there are no current timescales for when these may come into force but we shall be keeping an eye out on the following:
- An extension to the ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts
- New duty for employers to prevent sexual harassment and third-party harassment.
- An extension to the time limit for claims under the Equality Act 2020 to six months.
- Introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting
- New laws on protecting employees going through the menopause
- Restrictions on the use of non-disclosure provisions in both employment contracts and settlement agreement for discrimination and harassment cases.
Data Protection Changes
In 2021 consultations took place on a number of data protection aspects, if these develop further then we may see changes to the following:
- Introduction of a fee structure to access personal data held by data controllers
- Publication of new data protection and employment practices to replace current ICO employment practices, which have not yet been updated to reflect the introduction of the GDPR
- Continuous updates on how Companies can protect personal data when it is being transferred out of the UK.