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Increases to compensation, statutory limits and other employment changes this April 2022

13/04/2022

Author: Dionne Dury

Employment

Increase in national minimum wage

The rates of the national minimum wage increased on 1 April 2022. The hourly rates of the minimum wage increased 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 pay rates against the new minimum wage rates and ensure that, where necessary, they increase remuneration for the first pay reference period beginning on or after 1 April 2022.

The weekly rates of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay increased to £156.66, from £151.97. The increases took effect on the first Sunday in April, which in 2022 was 3 April.

Gender pay gap reporting 2022

Applicable to organisations with 250 employees upwards, the deadline for public sector employers to publish their gender pay gap reports was 30 March, with more than 1,600 organisations meeting that deadline and for the private sector and charities, the deadline was 5 April 2022. Analysis of the data so far suggests that women are paid 90 pence for every pound earned by men. The sector with the largest gender median pay gap was construction where female employees received just 76p for every £1 earned by men. Some of the high profile companies reporting particularly large pay gaps were EasyJet where the woman’s median wage stood at 36p for every £1 that men earned last year. The smallest gaps are in human health and social work activities. The data suggests that there is still a way to go in addressing the gap.

Statutory Code of Practice on “fire and re-hire”

The government recently announced that it will be introducing a new statutory code of practice on “fire and re-hire”. This follows calls for government intervention on account of the increased use of this practice, which is where the employee’s contract of employment is terminated before the employee is rehired, normally on new, less-favourable terms. The new code will provide details for employers regarding how to conduct fair, transparent and meaningful consultations on proposed changes to employment terms and will include practical steps that employers should follow. As it is a statutory code the Employment Tribunals will be able to take the code into account and apply an uplift of up to 25% of compensation if an employer has unreasonably failed to comply with the code.

As of 6 April 2022:

  • The limit on a week's pay for the purpose of calculating statutory redundancy payments and basic awards has been increased to £571 (from £544);
  • The limit on the amount of the compensatory award for unfair dismissal has been increased to 93,878 (from £89,493) applying to dismissals taking effect from 6 April 2022;
  • The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £99.35 (from £96.35); and
  • The range of awards for injury to feelings in cases of discrimination or detriment for whistleblowing, known as the “Vento bands”, increase from:
  • £990 to £9,900 for the lower band (less serious cases)
  • £9,900 to £26,600 for the middle band (cases not in the upper band)
  • £26,600 to £49,300 for the upper band (most serious cases)

A higher amount of compensation may be awarded in exceptional cases and these new bands apply in respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2022.

Affected by these changes?

Contact Hatch Brenner Solicitors Employment Law Specialist, Dionne Dury to discuss all your employment matters on 01603 214 229 or email dionnedury@hatchbrenner.co.uk.

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Dionne Dury Employment Law

Dionne Dury, employment solicitor and workplace mediator

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