The HR landscape in 2022/2023 – what Cluer HR will be monitoring for its clients.

We know that it’s difficult to keep abreast of the ever-changing HR landscape. The Cluer HR team are here to keep you updated. As we enter the 2022/2023 financial year, here’s our summary of the latest developments and what’s on the horizon. The Cluer HR Team look forward to advising you further.

The Basics – Increases in statutory rates

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

Right to work checks

Employers can conduct right to work checks by carrying out a document check, or in some circumstances via the (free) Home Office on-line service. Document checks normally require sight of original documents, although a temporary relaxation by government has allowed this to be done remotely. This temporary measure has now been extended to the end of September 2022.

Migrants who have a standard work or residence permit can only be checked online, not manually. This applies to people with a biometric residence card, biometric residence permit or frontier worker permit.

For most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens employers need to check the right to work using the (free) Home Office on-line service using a share code and the date of birth. An EU passport or national identity card alone is no longer valid proof of someone’s right to work in the UK.

British and Irish citizens cannot evidence their right to work via the (free) Home Office on-line service, so the employer must conduct a document check. The government is introducing a digital identity checking service (at cost) in order that British and Irish citizens with a valid passport can evidence their identity remotely (even when the temporary Covid-19 adjustments expire in September 2022). Employers will still be able to conduct manual checks of original documents as an alternative.

Covid-related

Vaccine mandate

The government revoked the requirement for staff in health and social care to be Covid-19 vaccinated.

Covid-19 and self-isolation

As you’ll be aware, it is no longer a legal requirement to isolate if you test positive for Covid. Current NHS advice is that if you have Covid-19 you should try to stay at home and away from others to avoid passing on the virus. This clearly presents challenges for employers, especially in respect of employees reporting for work and what to pay employees who report as positive. As you know the Cluer HR team prides itself on advising in context, so rather than try to provide “one size fits all” guidance, if you have a specific case, please let us know and we can advise you on the specific case details.

Other news

Pay gap reporting

After the postponement of gender pay gap reporting from April to October in 2021, 2022 saw the usual timetable reinstalled. 30th March 2022 for public authority employers and 4th April 2022 for private or voluntary sector employers.

Whilst the UK government hopes to encourage employers to report on ethnicity pay gaps on a voluntary basis, it has confirmed that it will not introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting at this time.

The HR Horizon (watch this space)

Whilst there are no clear timescales for implementation on the following, the Cluer HR team will be monitoring progress and keeping you up to date. Here are the headlines:

Changes to flexible working

There is a proposal to make flexible working requests a day 1 right. Proposals also include:

• Requiring employers to suggest alternatives if they reject an employee’s request
• Allowing the change to be temporary rather than permanent
• Reviewing whether the current eight business reasons for refusing a request remain valid

Leave for carers

The government has confirmed its commitment to introduce a new day 1 right to a week’s unpaid leave for working carers.

Extending redundancy protection for women and new parents

Current legislation states that an employee who is 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 to cover:

• Pregnant employees, once they have notified their employer of their pregnancy
• Employees returning from maternity or adoption leave within the previous six months
• Parents returning from shared parental leave

And we couldn’t leave without a word on P&O Ferries. Well, we’re all watching for updates on the legality or otherwise of this, case, but one thing’s for sure; your Company reputation is at stake if you don’t get your processes right. And that’s where the Cluer HR Team can help.

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