The year ahead sees changes to rates of pay, major reforms to EU law and details on the much-awaited Employment Bill.
1. Increased Rate Changes
As anticipated, the new year will welcome various rate changes. Here is what you can expect:
- National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage rates are set to increase from 1st April 2023.
For all employees aged 23 years or older, the rate will increase from £9.50 per hour to £10.42 per hour.
Those aged 21-22 will see an increase from £9.18 to £10.18 per hour.
The rates for those who are aged 18-20 will increase from £6.83 to £7.49 per hour.
Apprenticeship rates will also see an increase from £4.81 to £5.28, the same rate for those aged 16-17.
- Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental pay. The rate of £156.66 per week will increase to £172.48 per week on 2nd April 2023.
- Statutory sick pay. The rate is set to increase to £109.40 per week, from £99.35. This increase is expected to occur on 6 April 2023.
2. Retained EU law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
The Retained EU Law Bill will repeal all EU law unless new legislation keeps it in place. The introduction of the Bill could see changes to:
- Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations
- The Working Time Regulations
- The Agency Workers Regulations
- Fixed-term Employees Regulations
- Part-Time Workers Regulations
- The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations
- Various health and safety regulations
- Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations
3. Employment Bill
The much-awaited Employment Bill, mentioned in 2019, is likely to come in to force in 2023. The Employment Bill is said to include some of the following:
- Reforms to the existing right to request flexible working. Employees no longer need 26 weeks of service to request flexible working; they can do so right away.
- Proposals to provide job security for new and expectant mothers for up to 6 months after their maternity leave ends.
- Introducing the right to receive up to 12 weeks’ paid neonatal leave for parents of babies needing neonatal care.
- Providing employees who are carers the day one right to receive one week’s unpaid leave per year.
- Allowing workers on variable hours the right to request a more predictable and stable work contract after 26 weeks’ qualifying service.
- Proposals making it unlawful for employers to withhold tips, gratuities and service charges from workers.
- Imposing a new duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment at work (extending to third parties). There are also proposals to extend the time limit for claims to 6 months.
Also in 2023, the Harbours (Seafarers’ Remuneration) Bill will come into effect, giving UK ports the authority to deny access to ships that pay their crew members below the national minimum wage.
The Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill will likely take effect in 2023. It requires employers and unions to agree on a minimum service level during transport strikes for three months. It will also remove the automatic unfair dismissal protection available to employees who participate in strike action during that period.