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Employment Law timetable – what do you need to know as an Employer?

By Victoria Brown

By Victoria Brown

Victoria gives an employment law update on recent/upcoming changes that you need to be aware of.

Here is an update on recent/upcoming changes to be aware of;

30th March 2023 Gender pay gap reporting (public sector) and 4th April 2023 Gender pay reporting (private and voluntary sector)

The gender pay gap is a measurement of the difference between the average earnings of men and women across a workforce.

Since 2017, organisations with a headcount of 250 or more on 5 April (known as the snapshot date) are required to publish their gender pay gap information, together with a written statement, on an official reporting website by 4 April the following year.  Businesses are encouraged to provide a supporting narrative explaining the causes of any pay difference and an action plan on how they intend to address those issues.

The rate changes for National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW) from 1st April 2023 are:

  • National Living Wage – £9.50 (April 2022) – £10.42 (April 2023)
  • 21-22 Year Old Rate – £9.18 (April 2022) – £10.18 (April 2023)
  • 18-20 Year Old Rate £6.83 (April 2022) – £7.49 (April 2023)
  • 16-17 Year Old Rate – £4.81 (April 2022) – £5.28 (April 2023)
  • Apprentice Rate – £4.81 (April 2022) – £5.28 (April 2023)

The rate changes for Statutory Pay from 2nd April 2023 are:

  • Maternity Pay – £156.66 (April 2022) – £172.48 (April 2023)
  • Paternity Pay – £156.66 (April 2022) – £172.48 (April 2023)
  • Adoption Pay – £156.66 – (April 2022) – £172.48 (April 2023)
  • Shared Parental Pay – £156.66 (April 2022) – £172.48 (April 2023)
  • Parental Bereavement Pay – £156.66 (April 2022) – £172.48 (April 2023)

The rate changes for Statutory Sick Pay from 6th April 2023 are:

  • Sick Pay – £99.35 (April 2022) – £109.40 (April 2023)

Monday 8th May 2023 Bank holiday announced in honour of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III

It has been announced that Monday 8 May 2023 will be a national bank holiday in all parts of the UK, in honour of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, providing families and communities across the UK the opportunity to come together and celebrate the occasion. The bank holiday will be on Monday 8 May 2023, following the Coronation on Saturday 6 May.

Are employees legally entitled to take a day off work?

Monday 8th May 2023 will operate in the same way as other bank holidays – this means that it is not a legal requirement for employers to give staff the day off work.

There is no statutory right to time off therefore employers will need to check their contracts of employment to establish whether their staff are entitled to time off on this additional bank holiday. For example:

  • Contracts that say employees have a right to 20 days’ annual leave plus time off on 8 public/bank holidays, (or 19 days plus 9 bank holidays in Scotland) where the bank holidays are listed and there is no flexibility in the wording, employees will not have an automatic right to time off for this bank holiday.
  • Contracts that give a right to 20 days’ annual leave plus 8 public/bank holidays but do not list the bank holidays gives the employer some flexibility to move leave around. For example, the employer in this scenario could give staff this extra day off but require them to work on another public/bank holiday.
  • Employees who have a contractual right to all public/bank holidays will be entitled to the extra day off on this bank holiday.
  • Employees whose contracts give them 28 days’ annual leave including all public/bank holidays have a right to the extra day’s leave. However, it will be deducted from their 28 days’ annual leave so ultimately, they will have fewer days on which to ‘choose’ to take leave.

Confusion could occur where the contract of employment refers to the “usual bank holidays”. The bank holiday on Monday 8th May 2023 is an extra bank holiday, and therefore arguably falls outside of this category. This could leave this bank holiday up for debate if employers deduct this from an employee’s annual entitlement. On the other hand, it provides an argument for employers not to pay employees for the bank holiday if an employee’s holiday entitlement is “plus the usual bank holidays”.

Employers should check their contracts carefully for any other flexibility in the wording such as “8 public/bank holidays as listed, or other days as determined by us” which may allow the employer to give staff the extra day off but require them to work on another public/bank holiday.

Even if contracts do not include an automatic right to time off, if they wish to, employers can choose to give their employees an additional day of paid leave or staff can make an annual leave request as they usually would. 

For employees that are required to work on this day, there are no statutory rules regarding extra pay on bank holidays. This will depend on the wording of the employee’s contract and any custom and practice that has been set on previous bank holidays, i.e., the Queen’s funeral in September 2022.

There is no suggestion that the government plan for this day to become an annual bank holiday. 

For any further support or guidance on your HR or H&S please contact us at  Tel – 03301071037

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