What you need to be prepared for in the New Year:
- 30th March/4th April: Publish your gender pay gap report
If you have a headcount of 250 or more your gender pay gap figures must be published 12 months from the relevant snapshot date. For most private sector employers this will be the 5th of April, meaning your gender pay gap information and written statement must be published by 4th of April. (This is the 30th March for most public sector employers).
Although not required, businesses with less than 250 may still submit a report voluntarily which can send a strong message about your commitment to equality.
- 1st April: Comply with national minimum wage increases
The rates for the national minimum wage will increase on 1st April 2022. The hourly rate of the minimum wage will increase from:
- £8.91 to £9.50 for workers aged 23 and over (the national living wage)
- £8.36 to £9.18 for workers aged 21 or 22
- £6.56 to £6.83 for workers aged 18 to 20
- £4.62 to £4.81 for workers aged under 18 who are 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.
Employers should check their pay rates against the updates and ensure that they make changes where necessary, for the first pay reference period beginning on or after 1st April 2022.
- 3rd/6th April: Increase statutory family-related pay and sick pay
The rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay will increase to £156.66, from £151.97. The increase normally takes effect on the first Sunday in April, which in 2022 is 3rd April. The rate for statutory sick pay will also increase on 6th April 2022. The new rate will be £99.35, up from £96.35.
Companies need to remember to review and update any policies and documents that mention the rates, such as maternity policies and sickness absence procedures.
- 5th April: Keep track of temporary right-to-work checks guidance
Since 30th March 2020, temporary guidance has been in place to allow employers to conduct remote right-to-work checks via video, with scanned or photo versions of required documents used. Employers have a defence against a civil penalty if they complete a check in accordance with the temporary adjustments. If temporary guidance is followed, they are not expected to carry out face to-face checks retrospectively.
These temporary measures are due to last until 5th April 2022. Employers should look out for new guidance on right-to-work checks that will apply from 6th April 2022 (it is possible that the temporary guidance will be extended).
- 6th April: Update your statutory redundancy pay calculations
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay will come into force on 6th April 2022.
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.
The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount (£544 from 6th April 2021). The new amount will be confirmed in the draft Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2022, which should be published some time in February.
For redundancy dismissals on or after 6th April 2022, HR professionals should ensure that calculations for statutory redundancy payments are made on the basis of this new maximum amount.
- 2nd/3rd June: Manage bank holiday entitlement during Platinum Jubilee
The government has announced an additional bank holiday in 2022 (Friday 3rd June), to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. In addition, the late May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2nd June.
This means that employers face the unusual situation of there being two back-to-back bank holidays in June 2022.
Even if employers are not contractually obliged to grant the extra day as leave, they may choose to do so as a goodwill gesture to employees.
If you need help implementing any of the above, please contact the IHRS team! Email HRhelp@ihrsolutions.co.uk, call 01604 709509 or visit our website.