The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many changes in the corporate sector worldwide, and the UK has begun implementing several employment law amendments as a result. Some of these changes in labor policy have already been enforced, while others will be in the near future.
Here are some highlights of the employment law revisions in the UK:
Increase in National Minimum and Living Wage
The minimum wage has been increased from £8.91 per hour to £9.50 per hour. The increase in the National Minimum and Living Wage is applicable for workers aged 23 and up.
Obligatory Vaccinations Revoked
Since COVID vaccines were approved, corporate organizations made getting vaccinated mandatory for workers. Moving forward, mandatory vaccines will not be a condition for employment or to retain a current position. This rule also applies to employees working in Care Quality Commission-regulated care homes, who were previously mandated to be vaccinated.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Gender pay gap reporting was postponed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) during the pandemic. In 2022, the act has been enforced, enabling workers to report the gender pay gap in public and private corporations.
Working Policy for EU Immigrants
In the past, British employers gave priority to EU nationals in recruitment drives. However, with the newly enforced points-based immigration system in the country, a candidate will only be considered for a job if they meet the points requirement. This means that citizens from any of the EU member states will not be hired over other applicants solely because of their homeland.
Statutory Pay Increase
Workers in the UK will receive £156.66 or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks for maternity, adoption, paternity, and shared parental leave as of April 2022.
According to the off-payroll working rules (IR35), contractors working for an employer in the same capacity as a full-time employee must pay the same employment taxes as anyone who has been directly employed. This rule ensures that anyone who works for an organization in the same manner as a full-time employee pays the appropriate employment taxes. As of April 2021, the IR35 has been amended so employers are responsible for determining if a contractor meets the criteria for the off-payroll rules.
Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Bill
To provide security to those who come forward and report corruption in corporations, the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Bill will form an organization that will look provide protections for whistleblowers and ensure they are not harmed and kept safe from any forms of attack based on reporting corruption.
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