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Employment Law Update

28 March 2023
Whilst the Employment Bill, initially promised by the Government in 2019, has not yet come about, there are some key changes in employment law that are likely to progress in 2023.  

Publishing your gender pay gap report:

The next gender pay gap reporting deadline is 30 March 2023 for public-sector employers and 4 April 2023 for private-sector and voluntary-sector employers. The reports must be published on the organisation’s website in addition to the gender pay gap reporting portal on the GOV.UK website. Employers can provide an explanation in relation to any gender pay gap, in addition to the steps they are taking to reduce the gap.  

Complying with National Minimum Wage (NMW) increases:

The rates for the NMW will increase on 1 April 2023. The changes are outlined below:
Category National Minimum Wage
Workers aged under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age £4.81 to £5.28
Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship £4.81 to £5.28
Workers aged 18-20 £6.83 to £7.49
Workers aged 21 or 22 £9.18 to £10.18
Workers aged 23 and over £9.50 to £10.42

In light of this change, employers should compare their pay rates against the upcoming minimum wage rates and ensure that they increase remuneration for the first pay reference period commencing on or after 1 April 2023 where necessary.


The increase in statutory family-friendly payments

The following changes to statutory family friendly payments will be introduced from 2 April 2023:


Payment Type Amount
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) First six weeks – 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at £172.48 or 90% of earnings if lower.
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) First six weeks – 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at £172.48 or 90% of earnings if lower.
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) Paid for two weeks at £72.48
Statutory Shared Parental Leave Pay £172.48

Updating Statutory redundancy pay calculations

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2023 comes into force on 6 April 2023, which amongst other changes in tribunal limits, will mark the increase in the limit on a week’s pay for statutory redundancy payments. For employees, if your employment terminates on or after 6 April 2023, your entitlements will increase if you are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment subject to a limit of £571.


Managing bank holiday entitlements for the King’s coronation

An additional bank holiday has been announced by the Government on 8 May 2023 in celebration of the King’s coronation.

With three bank holidays in May 2023, employers will have to consider carefully and plan in advance for potential staffing issues involving the need for extra staff during busy bank holiday periods, and an increase in requests for annual leave around that time.

In relation to the approach of employer’s in determining bank holiday leave entitlements, employers will most likely rely upon the wording in the employees’ contract of employment. The contract may state that employees can take leave ‘on all bank and public holidays’ in which case the employer will be contractually required to allow the extra day as leave. In some circumstances, the employer may not be contractually obliged to do so, it may choose to as a gesture of goodwill.


Private Members’ Bills

The following proposals are being taken forward through Private Members’ Bills:

  • Changes to the right to request flexible working arrangements
  • The introductions of carers’ leave
  • Further redundancy protections during maternity leave
  • The introduction of liability for third-party harassment
  • Rules to ensure that gratuity is passed to workers in full


Government Announcements

The Government has announced the following developments:

  • The introduction of minimum services levels during strikes in key sectors
  • Reforms to the requirements to produce modern slavery statements
  • Reform of the UK data protection regime
  • The introduction of a statutory code of practice on changing contracts of employment
  • Amendments to the rules on settlement agreements
  • New provisions to give workers the right to request a more predictable contractual working pattern


Revocation of retained EU law

There is a potential impact on areas in employment law including TUPE, agency workers and fixed-term contracts due to the Government’s plans in relation to the revocation of retained EU law. If the proposal goes forward, government departments will have until the end of 2023 to determine which EU-retained laws should expire and which should be kept.

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