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Employment Law

What are the upcoming employment law and minimum wage changes?

Employment law changes usually come into effect each April and October, with minimum wage rates increasing annually each April.

We know that keeping up to date on these changes can be just another thing to keep on top of as a business leader or HR professional; so we’ve done a lovely round-up of all the changes so you can see what they are and when they’re happening, meaning you can get them implemented within your organisation and avoid any risk for you or your business.

When does the national minimum wage change?

The rates of National Minimum Wage/Living Wage are to rise and the new higher rates come into effect in April.

By law, you must pay your employees a minimum amount on average for the hours worked. This is called the:

  • National Living Wage (NLW) if you’re aged 23 or over
  • National Minimum Wage (NMW) if you’re aged under 23 or an apprentice.
 

The government reviews minimum wage rates every year and they’re usually updated in April. The new rates apply from 1st April 2022 and are as follows:

Age 23 and over (NLW) £9.50

Age 21 to 22                      £9.18

Age 18 to 20                      £6.83

Under 18                            £4.81

Apprentice                        £4.81

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re an apprentice aged either under 19, or 19 or over and in the first year of their current apprenticeship agreement. Those who are 19 and over and have completed the first year of their current apprenticeship are entitled to the minimum wage for their age.

Full details of minimum wage changes can be found online.

What are the next employment law changes?

15th March 2022

  • Laws requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for those working in care homes and in health and social care will be revoked.

 17th March 2022

  • The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (the online service for employers to claim back employees’ Statutory Sick Pay for covid-related sickness) closes for covid-related absences after 17th March 2022. Employers can claim for employees or former employees who were off work on or after 21st December 2021 and have up to and including 24 March 2022 to submit any final claims and amend any claims they’ve already submitted.

24th March 2022

  • The extra provisions for COVID-19 within the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and Employment and Support Allowance regulations will be removed. This includes SSP payments for those isolating and the payment of SSP from day one of Covid-related illness. 

3rd  April 2022

  • Family friendly payment rates will increase, including Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Shared Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP).

6th April 2022

  • National insurance contributions will increase by 1.25%.
  • HMRC has asked that payslips include a message to say ‘1.25% uplift in NICs funds NHS, health & social care.’ This should stay in place until 5th April 2023.
  • The ability to manually check the status of those with a biometric residence card or permit, or frontier work permit, will be removed. From 6th April, only online right to work checks will be possible. In order to complete these checks on gov.uk, employers will need the job applicant’s date of birth and right to work share code. 
  • The following rates will increase: SSP, compensation limits, statutory guarantee pay and weekly redundancy payments.
  • The lower earnings limit (the amount of earnings that allow an employee to qualify for certain state benefits) will increase for the first time in two years, to £123 a week.

15th May 2022

  • The voluntary living wage rates are reviewed and updated annually each November. Employers who have signed up for the scheme have six months to implement the increase. 15th May is the final date to implement a voluntary living wage

1st October 2022

  • A permanent system for digital right to work checks will be put in place.

If you’re finding your HR admin is mounting up, or you need some HR expertise to be ready for these changes, we can help. Get in touch for a chat with one of our friendly, expert HR consultants.

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