With the new year underway what upcoming changes should Employers be aware of?
‘The usual Bank and Public holidays’
In celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, an additional bank holiday has been announced and will fall on Friday 3 June 2022.
As many employers will know, bank and public holidays form part of an employee’s statutory minimum holiday entitlement. Whilst employees are not entitled to time off on those particular days, they are entitled to paid time off in respect of them. Depending on the wording of your contracts (and past practice) that right may also extend to additional bank holidays such as the one above.
If your contracts of employment confirm that employees are entitled to ‘the usual’ bank and public holidays’ and/or detail the bank or public holidays observed in England and Wales, then the right to time off in respect of such days will not extend to the Jubilee Bank Holiday. If, however your contracts do not refer to ‘the usual’ bank and public holidays, it may be argued that the right would extend to additional days as announced from time to time.
If employers have previously observed additional bank holidays or provided paid time-off in lieu, it would be advisable to treat the upcoming Jubilee Bank holiday in the same way.
Employers should therefore review the phrasing of their contracts and consider past practice before confirming with employees how the additional bank holiday will be treated.
Changes to Statutory rates of pay
From 1 April 2022 minimum wages will increase as follows:
– National Living Wage for workers aged 23 and over: £9.50.
– National Minimum Wage for workers aged 21-22: £9.18.
– National Minimum Wage for workers aged 18-20: £6.83.
– National Minimum Wage for workers aged 16-17: £4.81.
– Pay for apprentices under the age of 19 or in their first year of apprenticeship: £4.81.
The following rates of pay for forms of statutory leave will also increase:
– Statutory pay for parental leave (Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental, and Adoption, and Parental Bereavement Leave): £156.66 per week from 11 April 2022.
– Statutory Sick Pay: £99.35 per week from 6 April 2022.
It is also anticipated that the statutory limit on a week’s pay and compensatory awards for unfair dismissals will increase for the next tax year however revised amounts are yet to be announced.
National Insurance Contributions
In addition to increases to minimum and statutory rates of pay, National Insurance Contributions will increase from April to 1.25% of salary. It is expected that the increase will only take effect for the 2022/23 tax year following which NICs would return to their 2021/22 rate and the increase replaced by a new levy.
If you have any questions about these changes and how they affect your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.