There has been a number of legislation changes introduced this month including; Minimum Wage, Statutory Redundancy, Tribunal Awards, Fit Note Digitalisation, Digital Right To Work Checks and Apprenticeships. Here is our guide to what you need to know and do as an employer to ensure compliance:
Minimum Wage (1st April)
From 1st April 2022, national minimum wages rates have risen to:
- Age 23+ = £9.50
- Age 21-22 = £9.18
- Age 18-20 = £6.83
- Age 16-17 = £4.81
Statutory pay rises including Sick Pay rates occurred on 3rd April 2022.
The rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay will rise from £151.97 to £156.66 per week.
Statutory Sick Pay will also go up from £96.35 to £99.35 per week.
Calculating Statutory Redundancy Pay (6th April)
The increase in the amount of a week’s pay for the purpose of calculating a statutory redundancy payment increases from £533 to £571. This means that the maximum statutory redundancy payment will now be £17,130.
The lower earnings limit for the purpose of calculating primary Class 1 national insurance contributions increases from £120 to £123 per week.
The Health and Social care levy is introduced in the form of an increase in national insurance contributions, this is an increase of 1.25%.
Tribunal Awards Increases (6th April)
The unfair dismissal basic award will increase to £17,130. The cap on compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £89,493 to £93,878.
The so-called Vento bands operate as the parameters for injury to feelings awards in successful discrimination claims. On or after 6 April 2022, the new Vento bands will be as follows:
- Lower band – £990 to £9,900 (less serious cases)
- Middle band – £9,900 to £29,600 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band); and
- Upper band – £29,600 to £49,300 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £49,300 (no cap).
Fit Note Digitalisation
There is no longer a requirement for GPs and other doctors to sign a fit note in person as evidence of an employee’s sickness absence. The practice of remote signing and copies being sent to employees was adopted during the Covid-19 and will continue going forward it appears.
A new form is being developed and both the old and new version will be legally valid while the new version is being rolled out.
For further details: The fit note: guidance for patients and employees – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Digital Right To Work Checks (6th April)
The Home Office has allowed employers to carry out right to work checks using video calls to job applicants and scanned copies of identity documents in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The temporary adjustments to the procedures were due to end on 5 April 2022 but have now been extended to 30 September 2022.
A new digital service for checking British and Irish citizen’s right to work checks was introduced on 6 April, although manual checks of applicant’s documents will remain valid.
Apprenticeships (6th April)
The introduction of a pilot scheme in the creative, digital and construction sectors will allow apprentices to enter a series of arrangements of at least three months’ duration with separate employers, rather than committing to the usual 12 months.