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Employment Law Changes in April 2023 and Other Employment Law Changes

February 2023

2023 looks set to be another busy year for employers in respect of changes to employment law, starting with the usual set of rate changes. Most of these rate changes will take effect in April 2023, and include the following:

1.  The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The new rates will come into force on 1 April 2023. The rates will be as follows: 

  • For workers aged 23 and over (i.e. the National Living Wage), the rate will increase from £9.50 per hour to £10.42 per hour; 
  • For workers aged 21-22 inclusive, the rate will increase from £9.18 per hour to £10.18 per hour; 
  • For workers aged 18-20 inclusive, the rate will increase from £6.83 per hour to £7.49 per hour;
  • For workers aged 16-17 inclusive, the rate will increase from £4.81 per hour to £5.28 per hour; 
  • The apprentice rate will increase from £4.81 per hour to £5.28 per hour; and
  • The daily rate for the accommodation offset will increase from £8.70 to £9.10. 

The Real Living Wage and London Living Wage do not increase in April but the current rates are £10.90 per hour and £11.95 per hour respectively.

2.  Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Shared Parental Pay, Adoption Pay, Maternity Allowance, and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

The new rates will come into effect on the first Sunday in April, i.e. 2 April 2023. The maximum rate (i.e. the cap) for all of these family-friendly payments will increase from £156.66 to £172.48 per week. The average gross weekly earnings required to qualify for all family-friendly payments, except Maternity Allowance, will remain at £123.00 per week or more. 

3. Statutory Sick Pay

The new rate will come into force on 6 April 2023. The rate will increase from £99.35 to £109.40 per week.

4. The statutory cap on a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating the basic award and statutory redundancy pay

The new rate is likely to be announced in March 2023 and will come into effect on 6 April 2023.

5. Extra Bank Holiday for King’s Coronation

The coronation of King Charles III will be held on 6 May 2023 and there will be an additional bank holiday on 8 May 2023.

6. Amendments to existing rights

Flexible working requests

The government has committed to make changes to the right to request flexible working, including: 

  • Removing the existing 26 weeks’ service requirement and making it a day one right;
  • Employers will be required to consult with their employee, as a means of exploring the available options, before rejecting an employee's flexible working request;
  • Employees will be able to make two requests in any 12-month period;
  • Employers will need to respond to the request within a two-month timeframe; and
  • There will be a removal of the requirement for employees to set out how the effects of their flexible working request might be dealt with by the employer.

It is not known when these changes to the right to request flexible working will be introduced.

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

The biggest change to affect employers could be to all EU-derived employment law, which is set to be automatically repealed on 31 December 2023 unless legislation is introduced to keep it. 

Laws that could change or expire at the end of the year include TUPE, the right to paid annual leave and working time legislation.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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