The following employment and immigration law changes are coming into force in April this year:

New statutory rates

  • The maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase to £93,878 (from £89,493). Consequently, for any dismissals which take effect on or after 6 April 2022, the cap on the compensatory award will be the lower of £93,878 or 52 weeks' pay.
  • The limit on a week's pay used to calculate certain statutory payments and provisions will rise to £571 (from £544). As a result, the maximum basic award / statutory redundancy payment will be £17,130 from April.
  • Statutory sick pay will increase to £99.35 per week (from £96.35) from 6 April 2022.
  • Statutory maternity, adoption, shared parental, paternity and parental bereavement pay will increase from £151.97 to £156.66 per week from 3 April 2022.

Increased national minimum wage rates

The following national minimum wage hourly rates will be effective from 1 April 2022:

  • The national living wage (workers aged 23 and over): £9.50
  • The standard adult rate (workers aged 21-22): £9.18
  • The development rate (workers aged 18-20): £6.83
  • The young workers rate (workers aged 16 and 17 who are not apprentices): £4.81
  • The apprentice rate (apprentices under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of apprenticeship): £4.81

Gender pay gap reporting

Private sector employers with 250 or more employees must publish a gender pay gap report by 4 April 2022. For relevant public sector employers, a report must have been published by 30 March 2022. The government is due to review the impact of the gender pay gap reporting regulations in 2022. 

Workbox by Brodies subscribers can find a detailed step-by-step guide to gender pay gap reporting here.

Tax changes

  • As part of the new health and social care tax, there will be a 1.25% rise in National Insurance contributions from April 2022 for employees and employers liable for Class 1 NICs, and the self-employed liable for Class 4 NICs (including partners).
  • Tax rates on dividends will also increase by 1.25% in April 2022.

Provision of PPE

The requirement to provide employees with suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) where there is a health and safety risk will be extended to workers from 6 April 2022. The prohibition on employers charging employees for PPE will also be extended to cover workers.

Right to work checks

From 6 April 2022, there are two key updates to note:

  • Right to work checks will need to be completed online for those with biometric residence permits, biometric residence cards or frontier worker permits - manual checks will no longer be accepted. 
  • Digital identity verification will be introduced to check the right to work of British and Irish citizens with valid passports (or pass cards). The UK Government is currently going through the process of certifying service providers who will be able to provide these digital checking services to employers. Further details on how the scheme will work can be found here.
  • The temporary COVID-19 right to work checks adjustments (which allow scanned documents and video calls) were due to end on 5 April 2022 but have been extended until 30 September 2022.

New Global Business Mobility visa route

On 15 March 2022, the UK Government announced details of the new Global Business Mobility visa route, which is expected to open on 11 April 2022. Read our blog on the new route for more details.

Future HR agenda

If you would like help with policy development, or would like to discuss any of the topics raised in this blog, please get in touch with the Brodies Employment and Immigration team.

For a look at the wider HR agenda for the remainder of 2022, Workbox by Brodies subscribers can take a look at our 2022 HR to-do list. Workbox also has ready-to-go training slides on the key things to look out for in 2022, so you can keep your team up to date. There is also a What's New? page which enables subscribers to horizon-scan for developments by tracking recent and forthcoming employment legislation, cases and consultations.