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Emma Jewell and Sophie Carrol of Wansbroughs

April brings changes to employment law legislation

April brings a raft of new employment law legislation, as Emma Jewell and Sophie Carrol of Wansbroughs explain.
Employers should be aware of updates to employment law which came into force this month, or are due to come into force soon.
Changes to the National Living Wage apply from 1 April 2022. National Living Wage for employees aged 23 and above is now £9.50. For employees aged 21 to 22 it is £9.18, for staff aged 18 to 20 it is £6.83, and for workers under 18 and apprentices it is £4.81.
Changes to compensation limits come into force on 6 April 2022. Maximum guarantee payments are £31 per day (maximum £155, five days in any three-month period); maximum week’s pay for calculating redundancy and unfair dismissal basic award is £571; maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment is £17,130 (30 weeks’ pay subject to the limit on a week’s pay); minimum basic award for dismissal on trade union, health and safety, occupational pension scheme trustee, employee representative and on working time grounds only is £6,959; and maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal (unlimited for certain automatically unfair dismissals, for example, health and safety or whistleblowing) is £93,878.
Changes to Statutory rates
Statutory Rates for those having children  came into force on 3 April 2022. They are: Statutory Maternity Pay – first 6 weeks: 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings; statutory Maternity Pay – for the remaining weeks: £156.66 per week or 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower; Statutory Paternity Pay: £156.66 per week or 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower; Statutory Adoption Pay – first 6 weeks: 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings; Statutory Adoption Pay – for the remaining weeks: £156.66 per week or 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower; Statutory Shared Parental Pay: £156.66 per week or 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower; Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay: £156.66 per week or 90 per cent of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.
For the purposes of calculating Statutory Redundancy Pay, a week’s pay will be capped at £571 per week from 6 April 2022.
The total amount payable will be based on the number of years of completed service, multiplied by the lower of the actual weeks’ pay, of the cap, and a multiplier of ½, 1 or 1 ½ for each year of service, depending on the age of the employee in that same year.
Statutory Sick Pay will be payable at £99.35 per week. Although this is the same for all employees, the amount you must actually pay an employee for each day they are off work due to illness depends on the number of qualifying days they work each week.
Changes to Employment allowance 
Employment Allowance allows eligible employers to reduce their annual National Insurance liability. This has been increased to £4,000 for 2022 to 2023.
Employers and eligible if they are a business or charity and their Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year.
Changes to the Apprenticeship Levy  
Employers with a total annual pay bill of over £3million are liable to the Apprenticeship Levy. This is payable monthly.
Employers who are not connected to another company or charity will have an annual allowance that reduced the amount of Apprenticeship Levy they have to pay. The Apprenticeship Levy is charged at a percentage of their annual bill.
For 2022 to 2023, the following apply:
  • Apprenticeship Levy Allowance is £15,000
  • Apprenticeship Levy charge of 0.5 per cent
Increases in the Social Care Levy
National Insurance contributions could increase on 6 April 2022 when the Health and Social Care Levy comes into effect. If the fall within any of the following National Insurance classes, your National Insurance contributions will increase for one year by 1.25 per cent.
National Insurance Class – who pays? 
Class 1 Employees earning more than £184 a week and under State Pension age- likely to be deducted by the employer
Class 1A and 1B Employers pay these directly on their employee’s expenses or benefits
Class 4 Self-employed people earning profits of £9,569 or more a year
Additional bank holidays for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
The May Bank Holiday Weekend will be moved to Thursday 2 June with an additional Bank Holiday on Friday 3 June. This will see a four-day weekend.
Where part-time employees are concerned, holiday pay should be calculated pro-rata to ensure fairness between full-time and part-time employees.
Right to work checks 
From 6 April 2022 migrants who have a standard work or residence permit can only be checked online and not manually. Adjusted right to work checks that were introduced on 30 March 2020 as a result of COVID19 will no longer count after the 30 September 2022.
HMRC are also introducing a new system of digital checks as an alternative to manual checks.
Gender Pay Gap reporting 
Due to Covid-19, a six-month extension was given to employers who were required to report their Gender Pay Gap under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. This was 5 October 2021. Although a six-month extension was given, the 2022 deadlines remains at 30 March 2022 for public sector employers and 4 April 2022 for Private Sector Employers.
Revocation of the requirement on care staff to have the Covid-19 vaccine 
On 1 March 2022, the government confirmed that they would revoke their decision for workers in care homes and health and social care to be required to have the COVID19 vaccine to be able to enter care homes.
They will, however, continue to encourage these workers to get the vaccine.
Emma Jewell and Sophie Carrol both work in the corporate & commercial team at Wansbroughs, where Emma is an associate solicitor and Sophie is a trainee solicitor. They can be contacted on 01380 733300  or at commercial@wansbroughs.com 

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