Employment Law

Three 2022 employment law tips for businesses – Part 1

Throughout 2022, there will be several key employment law developments that businesses will have to manage, in addition to continuing to deal with workplace difficulties induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The first in a two-part series, we’ve outlined three key activities taking place throughout the year to help you plan effectively for the year ahead:

Issue your gender pay gap report: 30 March and 4 April 2022

The gender pay gap reporting deadline for this year is 30 March and 4 April 2022.

If your organisation has a headcount of 250 people or more on your ‘snapshot date’, you must adhere to the reporting requirements for the gender pay gap.

Organisations should publish their 12-month gender pay gap reports from their relevant snapshot date which is 31 March for the public sector and 5 April for the private and voluntary sectors.

All reports should be published on the gender pay gap reporting portal on the  website.

Employers can choose to provide a narrative around any gender pay gap, explaining why the gap exists, and outlining what actions they are taking to close it.

National minimum wage increases: 1 April 2022

From 1 April 2022, the national minimum wage rate will increase, as per the details below:

  • The National Living wage (workers aged 23 and over) – £8.91 to £9.50
  • Workers aged 21 or 22 – £8.36 to £9.18. Workers aged 18 to 20 – £6.56 to £6.83
  • £4.62 to £4.81 for workers aged under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age.
  • £4.30 to £4.81 for apprentices under 19, or over 19 but in the first year of the apprenticeship.

Employers should ensure that, where necessary, their pay rates are in line with the new national minimum wage from 1 April 2022.

Employers should ensure they have a process for recording hours worked for those working at home to ensure that the National Minimum Wage Legislation is not breached by overtime hours over and above the contracted hours for a fixed salary.

Working from Home Tax Exemptions

The following Tax Exemptions which have been in place during the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 Tax Years to accommodate the increased working from home during the Pandemic are set to end on 5th April 2022.  Employers may need to reassess their approach. The measures affected are:

  • The ability for an employee who is required to work from home (even for part of their working time) to claim tax relief equal to the £6 per week homeworking allowance whilst not meeting the strict definition of home as a workplace.
  • The temporary tax and NIC exemption for the costs of office equipment purchased by the employee for use at home and reimbursed by the employer.
  • The suspension of the requirement for those who have benefitted under the Cycle to Work scheme from before 21 December 2020 to undertake qualifying journeys. This means that at least 50% of the cycle use must be for journeys to and from the workplace.

Increase in statutory family-related pay and sick pay: 3 and 6 April 2022

On the first Sunday in April, which falls on 3 April this year, the rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay will increase to £156.66, up from £151.97.

On 6 April, the rate for statutory sick pay will also rise to £99.35, up from £96.35.

Businesses are responsible for ensuring that employees on parental bereavement, adoption, maternity, paternity and shared parental leave, as well as employees on sick leave, are paid these new statutory minimum rates. They also need to review their policies and documents that mention the rates and update as required.

These are just a few employment law developments that the government has announced so far.

Click to read part 2 of this blog where we will be discussing more employment law developments that will come into effect in 2022.

If you would like more detail on the upcoming employment law developments for 2022, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team.

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