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National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage will increase on 6 April 2022. The new pay rates will be as follows:

  • National living wage (age 23 or over): £9.50 per hour
  • Age 21 to 22: £9.18 per hour
  • Age 18 to 20: £6.83 per hour
  • Age 16 to 17: £4.81 per hour
  • Apprentice rate: £4.81 per hour

Changes to sexual harassment legislation in 2022
Proposals published in July of this year outline the Government’s plan to introduce a proactive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and to introduce new protections against harassment by third parties. Employers would be required to take “all reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment from occurring and could also be held liable for harassment committed by visitors to the workplace, such as suppliers and customers. The Government also plans to publish a new statutory code of practice along with guidance for employers on how to comply with this new duty.

New employment law right to carer’s leave
2022 may also see the introduction of a new right for employees who are unpaid carers to take five days’ unpaid leave per year to deal with their caring responsibilities. This would allow employees to take time off of work to provide care, attend appointments, or arrange alternative care for an individual for whom they are responsible.

Neonatal leave and pay for employees
Another form of leave employers may anticipate in 2022 is statutory neonatal leave for parents whose babies require neonatal care. It is expected that the amount of leave will be one week for every week that the baby is in neonatal care up to a maximum of 12 weeks. This will be paid leave, with parents being entitled to a statutory rate of pay set by the Government each year.

Right to request flexible working
According to new proposals set to be published by Government ministers, employees will have the right to request flexible working from day one in a job. Over the past 18 months, many have reaped the benefits of working more flexibly and from home. The proposal that employees can make these requests from day one is a positive step in encouraging a more flexible workforce. Employers will still be able to refuse a flexible working request, but only if they can point to one of the eight statutory reasons listed in the Employment Rights Act (which themselves will also be reviewed to determine if they are still relevant).

For further advice regarding the above or any other employment law related matter, contact our specialist team on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.

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