See our summary below – if they’re relevant for your business we suggest you start planning for them so you don’t get caught out.
Increase in national minimum and living wage, statutory sick and parental leave pay.
Increased rates of the national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) will apply from 1 April 2023. The NLW will rise by nearly 10% to £10.42 per hour (from £9.50) for workers aged 23 and over.
The new rates of the NMW for younger workers are:
- 21-22 year old: £10.18 (up from £9.18)
- 18-20 old: £7.49 (up from £6.83)
- 16-17 year old: £5.28 (up from £4.81)
- Apprentice rate: £5.28 (up from £4.81)
Employers need to make sure they have appropriate systems in place to increase pay (and any pension payments) when low paid workers have a birthday and move from one band to the next.
Statutory sick pay will also go up to £109.40 (from £99.35) a week from April, as will the weekly minimum rates of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity and other types of statutory parental leave payments to £172.48 (from £156.66).
Extra public holiday
An extra public holiday for the new King’s coronation has been announced for Monday 8 May 2023. Whether or not workers are entitled to the extra holiday depends on various things, as it did for the Platinum Jubilee last year. See our previous blog on this topic.
Changes to flexible working
The government has said it supports changes to flexible working regulations. These are currently going through Parliament and are expected to be introduced later this year.
The changes proposed include:
- making flexible working a right from day-one
- allowing employees to make 2 flexible working requests in any 12-month period (up from 1)
- requiring employers to respond to requests within 2 months (down from 3)
- removing the requirement for employees to set out how the effects of their flexible working request might be dealt with by their employer
- introducing a requirement for employers to consult with an employee before rejecting their request
The business reasons employers can rely upon to reject a request are not expected to change.
By making these changes a day one right the hope is that this will improve diversity in the workplace by opening up jobs to individuals that might not have been suitable before; however, there is also the potential to increase the workload of HR as they deal with more flexible working requests throughout the year.
Protection from redundancy for people who are pregnant or post-maternity leave
Currently, anyone on maternity leave has priority over other employees in a redundancy situation because they must be offered any suitable alternative vacancy first if their job is at risk of redundancy.
The government is proposing to extend this protection to employees during their pregnancy and for 6 months after they return to work after maternity leave. This enhanced protection will also apply to those who have taken adoption leave or shared parental leave. There is no date yet for when in 2023 this will be introduced.
Again, this is still going through Parliament so there is no firm date for its introduction. It is proposed that that employees who are carers will be able to take one week (five days) of unpaid leave a year. This will also be a ’day one right’. At the moment there are no plans to require this to be a paid entitlement, but employers can always choose do so.
How can we help?
If you need more information about any of the changes outlined above or want to discuss implementation in your organisation – for example, updating staff handbooks, contracts, etc please get in touch: email@example.com