EMPLOYMENT LAW CHANGES IN APRIL 2023

From April 2023, the rates that are set by the Government each year, are set to increase.  Below is a summary of the key changes to be aware of:

 Increases to the UK National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

From April 2023, the new hourly rates are as follows:

  • Age 23 and over – £10.42 (the National Living Wage)
  • Age 21-22 – £10.18
  • Age 18 – 20 – £7.49
  • Under 18 – £5.28
  • Apprenticeship rate (minimum hourly rate) – £5.28

In addition, if an employer provides a worker with accommodation, some of its value can be counted towards the National Minimum Wage (referred to as the ‘accommodation offset’). An employer cannot deduct more than the accommodation offset from the worker’s minimum wage figure. The accommodation offset is £9.10 per day from April 2023.

Increases to statutory family-related pay and sick pay

Sick pay will increase to £109.40 per week and statutory family related pay will increase to £172.48 per week.

Annual Tribunal Limit Increase

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2023 has been published, with the regular annual increase in Tribunal limits.  The key increases are:

 Compensatory award – £105,707 (previously £93,878)

  • A week’s pay (for basic award and redundancy payments) – £643 (previously £571)

Vento guidelines

 The annual update to vento bands for injury to feelings has been confirmed to be as follows:

  • Lower band = £1,100 – £11,200
  • Middle band = £11,200 to £33,700
  • Upper Band = £33,700 to £56,200

Take a look out our Key Facts and Figures page to see all new rates set by the Government commencing April 2023.

Further, whilst not strictly a change in legislation, it is worth noting that we will see an additional Bank Holiday May 2023 for the King’s coronation.  This will be on Monday 8th May.

Immigration rates

The general salary thresholds for the Skilled Worker route are to increase from 12 April 2023. The increases are as follows:

  • The minimum annual salary requirement = £25,600 to £26,200 gross per year
  • The minimum hourly rate = £10.10 per hour to £10.75 per hour
  • The minimum gross annual salary for an eligible PhD-qualified job = £23,040 to £23,580 gross per year
  • The minimum gross annual salary for (i) shortage occupation list roles; (ii) some STEM and health care roles; and (iii) for those recruits who are classified as new entrants = £20,480 to £20,960 gross per year

Under the Skilled Worker route each role is assigned a “standard occupational classification code” under which UKVI has set a “going rate” for salary that needs to be borne in mind when calculating the minimum salary threshold. The government has announced new going rate figures based on a 37.5-hour working week rather than a 39-hour week.

The rises described above do not apply retrospectively so employers do not need to increase the wages of current employees on skilled worker visas until the worker applies to extend their skilled worker visa.

Laura Kelleher and Louis Howlett, Solicitors

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