What’s on the horizon? Employment Law changes in 2022

What's on the horizon? Employment Law changes in 2022

In 2021, we have seen very little in terms of employment legislative changes. No Employment Bills were announced in the Queen’s Speech in 2021. Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the labour market, and the government’s response has been to try to provide stability rather than add further changes to employment law.

It is anticipated that there will be an Employment Bill brought forward for new employment legislation in 2022 but this has been on the proviso from the government ‘when parliamentary time allows’.

Jas Dubb, Associate at The Wilkes Partnership has picked out some of the key changes to Employment Law that are likely to come in 2022 below.

1. Enhancement to Flexible Working Rights
Employees already have the right to make a flexible working request, as soon as they have accumulated 26 weeks service. The government has already consulted upon changing this right from ‘day one’ of employment. It has been the government’s intention to make flexible working the default position in the workplace. Remember, the legislation gives ‘the right to request’ but not demand flexible working arrangements.

2. New Enforcement Body
The government wants to bring the following government bodies under one roof:
• HMRC National Minimum Wage Enforcement
• Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA)
• Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EASI)
The focus of the newly combined body will be on protecting employment rights and insuring compliance by employers. The body will cover enforcement of the National Minimum Wage, Statutory Sick Pay, holiday pay and cover labour exploitation e.g. modern slavery.

3. New Carer’s Leave
The government proposes to implement a new ‘day one’ right for employees to take one week (up to five working days) unpaid leave per year to employees with long term caring responsibilities. Leave will extend to where the employee is taking time off to provide the care themselves or to make arrangements for care. The days off can be taken in blocks of either half or full days.

4. Tipping and Gratuities
The old voluntary code of practice will be replaced with a Statutory Code of Practice. The code will require implementing a written policy recording how tips are dealt with, and primarily will effect the hospitality sector. The purpose of the change is so that it ensures workers retain tips, gratuities, cover and service charges on a fair and transparent basis. Changes are likely to include a new right to request information on tipping practices from an employer in support of a tribunal claim.

5. Rate Changes
There will be the usual changes in the rates of statutory benefits and payments. These include:
• Statutory Sick Pay
• National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage
• Payments under Family Friendly entitlement (i.e. Statutory Maternity Pay, Maternity Allowance, Statutory Paternity Pay, Shared Parental Pay, Adoption Pay and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay)
• Increase to the statutory cap on a week’s pay which is used for calculating Statutory Redundancy Pay and basic award in unfair dismissals

The changes to the rates of pay come in to effect of April each year.

For further information, contact Jas Dubb on 0121 233 5929 or email [email protected].

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