What's new for HR in 2022?
HR in 2022?
After two years of disruption, we hope to move away from the reactive changes seen during the pandemic. While it’s impossible to be 100% certain, we now hope that we’re moving away from the days of changes to employment law and government guidance being announced last minute.
We know this will be changing in April, and employers will need to ensure they are aware of birthdays (as staff may move within pay bands) and the new rates to implement the changes. The 2022 rates will be:
· 23+ year olds = £9.50
· 21-22-year-olds = £9.18
· 18-20-year-olds = £6.83
· 16-17 year-olds = £4.81
· Apprentices = £4.81.
Similarly, from 3 April 2022, statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental, and parental bereavement pay will increase from £151.97 per week to £156.66 per week.
Statutory sick pay will also increase on 6 April from £96.35 per week to £99.35 per week. The lower earnings limit for eligibility for these payments also increases from £120 to £123 per week for the first time in two years.
To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the late May bank holiday, which usually would have fallen on 30 May 2022, will move to Thursday 2 June 2022. There will be an additional bank holiday on Friday, 3 June 2022.
Employers will want to check employment contracts ahead of time to consider whether these stipulate an entitlement to all public holidays or define these by name. In any event, employers will want to communicate the arrangements for these dates ahead of time and taking HR Advice will be essential to this.
Covid will still be around in 2022, but the rollout of vaccinations has put organisations in a much better position. Whilst many organisations will not be required by law to have fully vaccinated workers, to minimise the disruption of Covid, and for the health and safety of staff and customers, encouraging staff to become fully vaccinated, and having boosters, is a move well worth taking. Keeping track of everyone’s vaccination status is recommended for the same reasons.
For Employers within the health and wider social care sector, mandatory vaccination looks set to be implemented by 1 April 2022. With first doses needing to be administered by 03/02/2022.
Sapphire HR has a specialist health and social care team that can provide expert HR advice in this area.
Family friendly rights
An Employment Bill was announced in 2019 and is expected to be passed in 2022. This bill includes the introduction of statutory neonatal leave. It pays for parents of babies requiring neonatal care. The extension of the redundancy protection period for employees on maternity leave to up to six months after they return to work.
The government has also confirmed the introduction of carer’s leave as a new statutory right. This right will entitle employees with caring responsibilities to take up to one week of unpaid leave per year from day one.
Changes to harassment laws are expected in 2022, including an extension to the time period employees have for raising tribunal claims and enhanced protection against harassment from third parties, such as clients, customers, and public members. Employee training will need to be updated on this point, as will organisational policies.
Sapphire Consultants are always available to provide advice on any HR / Employment matter you face within 2022 simply by giving us a call on 0191 259 4610.