Sat 01 Apr 2023

April 2023 Employment Law Changes

A look at the employment law changes taking place in April.

April is always a key date in the employment law calendar, with a number of important changes due to take place.

National Minimum Wage

The national living wage is to increase from £9.50 to £10.42 per hour (for those aged 23 and over).  New rates are as follows:-

  • 23 and over rate will increase from £9.50 to £10.42 per hour
  • 21 to 22 year old rate will increase from £9.18 to £10.18 per hour
  • 18 to 20 year old rate will increase from £6.83 to £7.49 per hour
  • 16 to 17 year old rate will increase from £4.81 to £5.28 per hour
  • apprentice rate will increase from £4.81 to £5.28 per hour

Statutory Benefits

Statutory sick pay will increase from £99.35 to £109.40 per week.  Statutory maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption pay will increase from £156.66 to £172.48 per week.

Tribunal Compensation

The annual Employment Tribunal award limit changes apply to dismissals occurring on or after 6 April 2023.  The limit on compensatory award for unfair dismissal rises from £93,878 to £105,707.

The cap on the compensatory award is the lower of the compensatory award limit or 52 weeks' pay (based on a claimant's gross salary prior to dismissal including employer pension contribution but excluding benefits in kind and discretionary bonus).  There are a limited number of exceptions where the cap does not apply. These are dismissals for whistleblowing or for raising certain health and safety issues. In addition, there is no limit to the award that can be made where a dismissal is related to unlawful discrimination.

The limit on a week's pay (used for calculating statutory redundancy payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal) increases from £571 to £643 meaning the maximum basic award and maximum statutory redundancy payment increases to £19,290.

Guidelines for Injury to Feelings Awards

An award for injury to feelings is made to compensate for injury to feelings caused by discrimination. The award is separate from an award to compensate for financial loss and can be made even where no financial loss has been suffered.  To assist Employment Tribunals, the Court of Appeal previously set out guidance for quantifying awards for injury to feelings, known as the Vento bands. For claims presented on or after 6 April 2023 the bands are as follows:-

  • Lower band (less serious cases) - £1,100 to £11,200 
  • Middle band (for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band) - £11,200 to £33,700
  • Upper band (for most serious cases) - £33,700 to £56,200

Awards of more than £56,200 will only be made in the most exceptional of cases.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

30 March will see the gender pay gap reporting deadline for public sector employers (using 31 March 2022 as a snapshot date).  For private companies and voluntary organisations with 250 or more staff the reporting deadline is 4 April (using 5 April 2022 as a snapshot date).  For the first time since 2020 furlough will not impact on the figures, providing a more accurate comparison to pre-pandemic figures.

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