National Living Wage
As usual, at the beginning of each Tax Year, there has been an increase in the National Living Wage. For workers aged 23 and over the National living wage is now £10.42 per hour, which is an increase of 9.7%. While the new increased rate for 21 to 22 year olds is now £10.18 per hour, for 18 to 20 year olds it is now £7.49 per hour and for 16 to 17 year olds and apprentices the rates are now £5.28 per hour.
Statutory Redundancy Pay
The maximum gross weekly pay for statutory redundancy pay and the basic award for unfair dismissal has been raised to £643, this is up from last year’s limit of £571. This means that the highest statutory redundancy payment and unfair dismissal basic award is now £19,290 and the maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award has increased to £105,707, a rise from the previous maximum award of £93,878.
Discrimination Claims Updated
The Vento Bands for compensation for injury to feelings in discrimination claims have also been updated. The lower band is now £1,100 to £11,200 (an increase from £990 to £9,900). The middle band is now £11,200 to £33,700 (an increase from the previous year of £9,900 to £29,600) and the upper band is now £33,700 to £56,200 (an increase from £29,600 to £49,300) with exceptional cases compensation is over £56,200 (above the previous £49,300).
Parliament is going to be busy this year with Employment Law changes including:
- The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform Bill) 2022 which is set to repeal all EU derived Law. It is expected that the Government will replace laws relating to Working Time, Discrimination, Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment, Maternity and New Parent Laws, rather than remove them.
- The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill 2023. This is to set minimum standards for health, fire and rescue, education and transport affecting the public and private sectors. This would put the onus on Unions to make sure sufficient employees are available to attend work.
- Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill is to introduce a new right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern in relation to zero hours and low hours contracts as well as agency and temporary workers, such as employers who misuse these flexible working arrangements by scheduling or cancelling shifts at very little notice leading to insecurity of hours and income for workers, or in the case of temporary agency workers, dismissal at short notice. This will lead to the introduction of a new right to request a predictable working pattern to empower workers to start a conversation with their employer about their working pattern.
- Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill is a bill to make provisions about protection from redundancy during or after pregnancy or after periods of maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. It is anticipated that employers will be obliged to offer suitable alternative employment to pregnant women and new parents.
- Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill 2022-2023. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that parents of premature babies are able to be present to care for their babies, on and after being on Neonatal Units, without suffering financial hardship.
- The Carer’s Leave Bill if passed will give employees who need to provide or arrange care for a dependant with long term care need a new statutory entitlement to unpaid carer’s leave. It is intended that the entitlement would be a “day one right” meaning it would be available to employees no matter how long they have worked for their employer. It is expected that it will allow carers up to 1 week unpaid per year for employees who are providing care for a dependant.
- The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill introduces a duty on organisations to prevent sexual harassment and reinstates employer liability for third party harassment.
- Flexible working changes were made as of December 2022. The right to request flexible working is now a “day one right” so employees no longer have to wait 26 weeks to make a request. Employers must consult with their employees before rejecting a flexible working request and employees can make up to two requests in any 12-month period. The previous law allowed for one request in each 12-month period.
Contact Us Today
As in most years, there are many changes to Employment Law that will affect many employees and workers. To discuss any Employment Law problems, contact our Employment Solicitor, Len Mann, on 01642 252828 or email email@example.com.