With 2022 nearly over, the Hay & Kilner employment team now look ahead to the employment law changes which we can expect to see in 2023:
1. Rate Changes: the 2023 increase in statutory pay rates includes the largest increase to the National Living Wage since its introduction in 2016, increasing from £9.50 to £10.42. There will also be increases in the National Minimum Wage rates for younger workers including an increase to £10.18 for 21-22 year olds, £7.49 for 18-20 year olds and £5.28 for 17-18 year olds and apprentices. These changes will take effect on 1st April 2023.
The rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay is also due to increase to £172.48 per week and statutory sick pay will increase to £109.40 per week. These new rates will come into force on 10th April 2023.
2. Flexible Working: the government has announced that the existing flexible working rights shall be extended to allow employees to request flexible working from the first day of employment. Employees will also be permitted to make two requests in a 12-month period, there will be a duty to discuss alternatives to the request and the procedure for requesting flexible working will be simplified. However, there will be no change to the list of eight grounds the employer has to rely upon to refuse flexible working and employers will not be obligated to accept requests provided the rejection can be justified on one of the eight grounds. Discrimination claims will however remain a risk so advice should be sought before rejecting claims.
3. Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill: the government aims to remove from UK law all retained EU law by the 31st of December 2023, except for pieces of legislation which the Government decide to preserve. There is therefore a possibility that legislation which exists for the purposes of employee protection, could be removed and consequently have a significant impact on employers and employees alike. We will keep you updated on this!
4. Bank Holidays: 2023 will become the second year in a row to gain an additional bank holiday. The 8th of May will be a bank holiday to mark the coronation of King Charles. Employers will need to consider whether employees have a contractual right to the bank holiday as paid leave and as to how it may impact the holiday entitlement of part-time workers.
5. Additional statutory rights: it is also expected that there will be progress made on the introduction of additional rights to paid leave relating to neonatal care and fertility treatment and for those with long-term care responsibilities.