Recent and forthcoming legislation

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National Minimum Wage Increase –

From 1 April 2022:

Workers aged 23 and over: £9.50 an hour (National Living Wage)

Workers aged 21-22: £9.18 an hour

Development rate for workers aged 18-20: £6.56 an hour

Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17: £4.62 an hour

Apprentice rate: £4.81 an hour


Sick Pay Rises

From 3 April 2022: £99.35

To qualify for statutory sick pay, employees or workers must be paying Class 1 National Insurance contributions, be absent because of incapacity for work for four or more days in a row, and average weekly earnings of not less than the lower earnings limit within the previous eight weeks.

Gender Gap Reporting (private and voluntary sector)

From 4 April 2022

Organisations with 250 or more employees must report annually on their gender pay gap. * If this applies to you, you’ll need to publish your figures as a report by 30 March (public sector) or 4 April (private or voluntary sector) on your own website and a government site.


Fit note digitalisation

From 6 April 2022

From this date, there is no longer a requirement for GPs and other doctors to sign a fit note personally as evidence of an employee’s sickness absence. A new set of regulations allows fit notes to be issued digitally, a practice made commonplace alongside virtual consultations during the Covid-19 pandemic. A new form is being developed and both the old and new versions will be legally valid while the new version is being rolled out.


Right to work checks

From 6 April 2022

The Home Office has allowed employers to carry out right to work checks using video calls to job applicants and scanned copies of identity documents in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The temporary adjustments to the procedure were due to end on 5 April 2022 but have now been extended to 30 September 2022.

The government is also introducing a new digital service for checking British and Irish citizens’ right to work checks on 6 April, although manual checks of applicants’ documents will remain valid.

From the same date, electronic checks must be carried out for biometric residence permit holders and those with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme. Manual checks are no longer acceptable.

Extending pregnancy protection from redundancy 

No date.

An employee at risk of redundancy while on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave has the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy that is available.

The government is proposing to extend this protection to:

  • pregnant employees, once they have told their employer of their pregnancy
  • employees returning from maternity or adoption leave within the previous six months
  • parents returning from shared parental leave (although how the limits on this right will operate is still to be worked out).

The proposals are in response to a consultation earlier in the year on pregnancy and maternity discrimination. The government has said that legislation will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.



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