General round up on some key updates in the Employment Legal timetable for 2022

Victoria Brown highlights some of the important dates you need to be aware of to help you stay ship shape with your business admin and HR processes.

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I thought it would be prudent to occasionally utilise this blog to keep you up to date with some key legislative changes to ensure you stay ship shape with your business admin and HR processes.

Here are a few changes that you need to be aware of;

SSP Rebate Scheme Closes

The Statutory Sick Pay  closed on 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022. Employers will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay for their employees’ coronavirus-related absences or self-isolation that occur after ‌17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022.

Employers have until 24‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17‌‌‌ ‌March‌‌‌ ‌2022, or to amend claims they have already submitted.

After then, there is a return to the normal SSP rules, which means employers should revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day their employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.

Annual Increase in Compensation Limits

Hopefully you will never need this, but it is important to be aware when making commercial decisions.  The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2022 has been laid before parliament.

This year’s core compensation limit increases are:-

  • a week’s pay (basic award in Unfair Dismissal, or as a redundancy payment) increases to £571 (from £544).
  • maximum compensatory award for Unfair Dismissal increases to £93,878 (from £89,493).

The new limits will apply to dismissals occurring on or after 6th April 2022.

Statutory Redundancy Pay

The cap on the value of a week’s pay which is used to calculate Statutory Redundancy Pay for employees earning above that amount, will increase to £571 per week (from £544) with effect from 6 April 2022.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

 Rate from 1 April 2022Current rate (April 2021 to March 2022)Increase
National Living Wage£9.50£8.916.6%
21 – 22-Year-Old Rate£9.18£8.369.8%
18 – 20-Year-Old Rate£6.83£6.564.1%
16 – 17-Year-Old Rate£4.81£4.624.1%
Apprentice£4.81£4.3011.9%

Family Leave and Statutory Sick Pay

 Rate from 3 April 2022Current rate
Parental Bereavement Leave pay£156.66 per week£151.97
Statutory Maternity Leave Pay£156.66 per week£151.97
Statutory Paternity Leave pay£156.66 per week£151.97
Statutory Shared Parental Pay£156.66 per week£151.97
Adoption Leave Pay£156.66 per week£151.97
 Rate from 6 April 2022 
Statutory Sick Pay£99.35£96.35

Holiday Pay

Pimlico Plumbers have lost their holiday pay case. This new Court of Appeal decision is the latest in the long running case brought by Gary Smith, a plumbing and heating engineer, against Pimlico Plumbers. Gary Smith’s employer had regarded him as self-employed, but he went on to assert employment law rights as a worker.

The Court of Appeal has confirmed where a worker has taken annual leave, but it was unpaid, their holiday pay claim can carry over indefinitely and will not lapse at the end of the holiday year. This means where employers have incorrectly treated individuals as ‘self-employed’ contractors, who are in fact ‘workers’, there can be holiday pay claims that stretch back a considerable number of years.

Workers do not have access to the full suite of rights which apply to an employee. However, one of the key worker rights is to take paid holiday – a statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks (or pro rata) per annum.

The general principle with paid statutory leave entitlement is that a “use it or lose it” rule will apply, and holiday pay rights do not carry over from year to year, except for in specific situations such as sickness absence or maternity leave. However, this principle was relaxed by the European Court of Justice, in King v Sash Window Workshop (“King”) which concerned a ‘self-employed’ salesman determined to have worker status and was therefore entitled to payment of accrued holiday.

The court decided where a worker has been deterred from exercising their right to holiday pay over several years due to their employer failing to provide holiday pay, the worker is allowed to carry over their paid holiday rights until their contract terminates. On this basis, Mr King was due a payment of untaken holiday for 13 years. The Pimlico Plumbers case has extended these rights further, so that even where an individual is able to take holiday, if it is unpaid, again their holiday pay claim can be carried over to stretch back over several years.

Employers can still say in their contracts that “untaken leave will be forfeited” so long as it has genuinely given its employees/workers the chance to take the leave. If it has not, it will have to backpay the holiday.  In this case, it cost the employer over £70,000!    We are strongly advising our clients to make sure their contracts and holiday policies protect them and to contact us if they require some further advice. 

The use of a good HR information system can manage your leave requests in an open and transparent way and create that audit trail that you may need.  For further information on our HR solution (oneHR), please contact sophie@highperformanceconsultancy.com and quote DIB10 for a demo and discounted rate.

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