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    Employment Law Changes

    Employment Law and what’s changed?

    Published on April 7th, 2022 | by Sophie West

    April is always a busy month with the new financial year coming in and the spring budget. With the pandemic taking precedent over the last couple of years, it’s easy to miss any important updates when it comes to employment law and legislation.

    We’ve highlighted a few things which have come into force that you may have missed:

    National minimum wage and living wage

    From the 1st April the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW) both increased. In case you missed the announcement we have included below:

    Old hourly rate New hourly rate (as of 1st April 22)

    National Living Wage (23+)

    £8.91 £9.50

    21-22 year olds

    £8.36 £9.18

    18-20 year olds

    £6.56 £6.83

    16-17 year olds

    £4.62 £4.81

    Apprentice rate

    £4.30 £4.81

    Accommodation offset

    £8.36 £8.70

    Statutory family related pay and sick pay

    On the 3rd April the weekly rates for statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay increased from £151.97 to £156.66 – an increase of £4.69 per week. The weekly rate for statutory sick pay also increased on the 6th April to the new rate from £96.35 to £99.35 – an increase of £3 per week.

    It is up to HR staff or your HR representative to make sure all staff members are paid the new rates if they need to take leave.

    Statutory redundancy payments and unfair dismissal

    On the 6th of April, the statutory redundancy pay limit increased to £571, from £544, for redundancy dismissals. Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. This is subject to the maximum mentioned above.

    The maximum compensation for unfair dismissal has also increased from £89,493 to £93,878.

    Other updates

    Extended pregnancy protection from redundancy

    At present we have no date on when this may take effect. However, if an employee is at risk of redundancy while on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave they have the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy that is available. The government is looking at extending this protection to:

    • Pregnant employees, once they have told their employer of their pregnancy
    • Employees returning from maternity or adoption leave within the previous six months
    • Parents returning from shared parental leave.

    This has been raised in response to a consultation on pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

    Neonatal leave and pay

    The Government has proposed to introduce for eligible employees to receive additional leave and pay for babies born prematurely with the aim to support families and take the pressure off returning to work and support their families.

    It is expected that these changes will come into force sometime during 2023. Who is expected to be entitled to the new rights?

    • Parents of babies which are admitted into hospital as a neonate (28 days old or less) will be eligible for Neonatal Leave and Pay if the admission lasts for a continuous period of 7 days or more
    • The total amount of statutory Neonatal Leave and Pay available to parents is expected to be capped at a maximum of 12 weeks
    • Entitlement to leave will be a day one employment right
    • Entitlement to ‘Statutory Neonatal Pay’ will be subject to the employee having a certain amount of continuous service (which is currently unspecified) and minimum earnings.

    Further information

    More general information can be found online. However, if you would like some experienced employment advice then give our team a call on 01527 571611 or visit our dedicated HR webpages.

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