Changes to UK employment law: April 2022

Article 29 March 2022 Experience: Employment

At the start of every April, the UK government revises certain rates and limits in respect of employees and may also make other changes to employment law.

Here are some key changes, and the dates of implementation.

National minimum wage

With effect from 1 April 2022, the national minimum wage rates will increase as follows:

  • Workers aged 23 or over from £8.91 to £9.50;
  • Workers aged 21 to 22 from £8.36 to £9.18;
  • Workers aged 18 to 20 from £6.56 to £6.83;
  • Workers under 18 from £4.62 to £4.81;
  • Apprentices (in their first year or under 19) from £4.30 to £4.81.

Statutory rates for family leave

With effect from 3 April 2022, the prescribed weekly rates of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Adoption Pay (SAP) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (SSPP) will all increase from £151.97 to £156.66. The same rate will also be payable to parents who qualify for Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay.

Termination of employment

Where termination takes effect on or after 6 April 2022, tribunal compensation limits will be as follows:

  • The maximum amount of ‘a week’s pay’ (for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy payments and certain other matters) will increase from £544 to £571.
  • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £89,493 to £93,878.

Right to work checks

The Home Office has announced changes to employer right to work checks, which will come into effect on 6 April 2022. Employers will no longer be able to conduct manual checks on non-UK nationals and a new method of digital checks will be introduced for British and Irish employees. Additionally, adjusted right to work checks temporarily introduced during the pandemic will no longer be an acceptable method of verification. For further details on all of these changes, please click here.

Fit notes

From 6 April 2022, regulations will come into force removing the requirement for fit notes to be signed in ink, which will simplify the process of obtaining fit notes where these are required. A new form of fit note that does not contain a signature box will be used in parallel with the existing version of the form.

Statutory sick pay (SSP)

From 11 April 2022 SSP will increase from £96.35 to £99.35 per week.

Separately, the ability of certain small and medium sized employers to reclaim SSP costs for coronavirus related absences has ceased in relation to absences occurring after 17th March 2022.

With effect from 24 March 2022 the Government has reinstated the three ‘waiting days’ before individuals can claim SSP, regardless of whether an absence is related to coronavirus.