Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs

What to expect in Employment Law in 2022

View profile for Employment Team
  • Posted
  • Author

It has been another eventful year in employment law, and as 2021 draws to a close our Employment Law team here look to the future at a variety of the changes employers can anticipate in 2022. Many of these changes were proposed following a Government consultation with the public and are expected to be included in a forthcoming Employment Bill.

National Minimum Wage in 2022

The National Minimum Wage will increase on 6 April 2022. The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission and 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

Legal obligations regarding tips and gratuities

The Government has indicated it will introduce new measures to ensure that workers retain their tips and gratuities. This follows a public consultation and reports that some employers would withhold tips and gratuities when customers paid by card.

The proposed measures would make it illegal for employers to withhold tips from workers. Tips must be passed on to workers within one month of the tip being paid, without any employer deductions except those required by law. Employers would also be required to:

  • comply with a new statutory code of practice regarding tipping;
  • implement a written policy on tipping; and
  • keep records of how tips are distributed.

If employers fail to comply with the new rules they may be subjected to fines and workers may be able to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

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 be a day one right for employees, and would allow them 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

The Government is considering making flexible working the “default” position and giving employees the right to make a flexible working request from “day one” of employment. It is hoped that the changes will encourage discussion between employees and employers on how to arrange working hours in a way that is agreeable to both parties. 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).  

Right to request a more predictable employment contract

This proposed right was first announced in the Government’s Good Work Plan in December 2018. The right is intended to benefit workers who have irregular hours, such as zero hour workers, by giving them the right to request a more predictable and stable employment contract. The right, if enacted through legislation, would apply to workers once they have accrued 26 weeks’ continuous service.

We cannot say exactly when the above changes will be brought in to law, but as always we will keep you informed of developments as they occur. If you require advice on how any of the above proposals may effect your business, or how you can start to prepare, contact our Employment Law Team on 023 8071 7717 or email employment@warnergoodman.co.uk.

To receive regular Employment Law updates from the team regarding recent tribunal cases and legislation updates, you can subscribe to our weekly Employment Law Newsletter by completing our subscription form or emailing us at events@warnergoodman.co.uk

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.