There are a number of critical changes in UK employment law expected this year, and employers and employees need to be aware of them. Employment law constantly evolves to improve the rights and protections of workers while also addressing new challenges from the changing landscape of the workplace.
The responsibility of providing a fair, safe, and healthy workplace sits with employers, and they must adapt quickly to changes in their obligations and legal duties.
In this article, we’ll outline what we expect over the coming year so you can ensure your business is ready.
From this year, employees over 23 will be entitled to a higher hourly pay rate as the National Minimum Wage increases to £10.42 per hour.
Statutory sick pay is also due to increase from £96.35 to £103.85. All employees who earn over £120 a week are eligible for SSP, which employers are obliged to pay if they are off work from illness or injury for up to 28 weeks.
Other Statutory Pay
Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Shared Parental Pay, and Parental Bereavement Pay are also increasing to £172.48 per week.
The King’s Coronation
As with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and funeral last year, the government has announced an extra bank holiday to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation. The holiday is set to fall on Monday, 8th May, but whether employers are obliged to honour it will depend on their ‘Terms and Conditions of Employment’.
Right to Work
The government has recently provided more details on the appropriate ways to check new employees’ Right to Work. It specifies that employers are required to manually check the documents of all new employees.
British and Irish citizens – Right to Work Check can be done using Identity Verification Technology (IDVT) through an Identity Document Scanner Provider (IDSP).
Non-British and Irish citizens – Require a Home Office Right to Work check.
Employers can also conduct right-to-work checks via video link, but they must ensure they receive the original documentation and cannot accept scanned or faxed copies.
The Employment Bill
In 2019, the late Queen announced the Employment Bill in her annual speech. The bill was intended to further support workers and families with some significant employment law reforms. Unfortunately, the bill lost momentum during the pandemic, but recently some of the changes have appeared on private member bills.
These are some of the changes we might see this year:
- The right to flexible working from day one.
- Neonatal leave and pay.
- Carer’s leave.
- Protection against redundancy for pregnant employees.
- Allocation of tips in full.
- Placing a legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.