What To Expect In Employment Law in 2022

2022 is another year of changes in the world of Employment Law and HR. In this blog, we are talking about some of the changes that we know are already going to happen.

Vaccination Status For Frontline NHS Staff

As we know, it was made compulsory for Care Home Staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19; this was implemented on 11th November 2021.

Following this, the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has said that it will also become compulsory for frontline NHS Staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to medical exemptions. This will be set into action from April 2022.

Workplace Sexual Harassment

In July 2021, the Government responded to consultations regarding workplace sexual harassment. Their proposal outlines plans to instil a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and to introduce new protections against harassment by third parties. This would require employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment from transpiring amongst all employees.

This new legislation could also see employers held liable for harassment caused by third parties in the workplace. 

Tips And Gratuities

This has been a long time coming as the original consultation on tipping, gratuities and service charge was made in 2016.

In September 2021, the Government published its response, ensuring workers in the hospitality sector keep tips on a fair and transparent basis. Employers will also be required to have a written policy on tips and record how tips are dealt with.

Right To Request Flexible Working

Recent consultation has extended the existing right to request flexible working from day one of employment instead of the former 26 weeks. It is important to note that this is a right to request, and it is still up to the employer whether or not to grant the request. 

Bank Holiday Entitlement During the Platinum Jubilee

Employers should be aware that the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2nd June 2022, and an additional Bank Holiday has been granted on Friday 3rd June 2022 to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Now the confusing part ensues; employees are entitled to the extra Bank Holiday if the wording in their Employment Contract states so. 

Let us explain.

If the Employment Contract states that an employee’s holiday entitlement includes Bank Holidays and then details the standard Bank Holidays that are recognised as part of the holiday entitlement, then it is down to the employer’s discretion whether or not to permit the holiday.

If the Employment Contract states that the holiday entitlement is plus Bank Holidays, the employee would be entitled to the extra day.

New Right To Carer’s Leave

In September 2021, the Government published its response to the 2020 consultation on Carer’s Leave. It has confirmed that it plans to legislate an entitlement to Carer’s Leave for employees as a right from day one.

The leave will consist of one week (5 working days) of unpaid leave per year for those employees with long-term caring responsibilities. This can be taken as full days or half days.

Leave can be taken to provide care, or arrange care, for a person with a long-term care need, e.g. illness, injury or issues relating to old age.

Employees will be required to give notice that is at least twice the length of the time being requested, plus one day.

Neonatal Leave And Pay For Employees

In March 2020, the Government announced its intention to introduce 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.

Redundancy Protection for Women and New Parents

The Government has also confirmed its intent to extend the redundancy protection period which is currently available to mothers on Maternity Leave.

Protection will apply to pregnant women from the point they notify their employer of their pregnancy until 6 months after a mother has returned to work.

It will also apply to those taking Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave.

Employment Bill

This was originally announced in December 2019 and postponed due to a change in the Parliamentary Work Schedule brought about by the pandemic.

While the date of its implementation is unannounced, it is speculated to conclude sometime in 2022.

We will keep you updated on what’s to be included within the bill.

National Minimum Wage Amounts

National Living and Minimum Wage amounts will increase again in April 2022, as follows: –

Current Rate New Rate

National Living Wage £8.91 £9.50

21 to 22 Year Olds £8.36 £9.18

18 to 20 Year Olds £6.56 £6.83

16 to 17 Year Olds £4.62 £4.81

Apprentices £4.30 £4.81

That’s all for now. We will, of course, keep you updated on any other changes that come to light.

For help with Employment Law or HR contact http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk