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Employment Law Update - January 2022

January has been a very busy month so far for us here at The HR Consultancy, and we hope your business has been busy too. We thought it would be helpful to briefly cover some of the trending topics in HR news, to keep you up to date. Sick Pay for Unvaccinated Workers Cut by Companies As you may have seen, IKEA, Morrisons and other companies have made headline news this week due to their decision to cut Company Sick Pay for unvaccinated employees who are forced to self-isolate. Companies are struggling with extreme levels of absence, and this move is intended to combat against the costs associated with sickness. Guidance was relaxed last month, so now those who are jabbed do not have to self-isolate if they have been in close contact with the virus, however the rules remain unchanged for the unvaccinated. IKEA usually offers their staff an enhanced sick pay on top of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), but have made the decision to remove this for unvaccinated staff, without mitigating circumstances, who are self-isolating due to being a close contact, leaving them with just £96.35 a week from SSP. The Company have clarified that unvaccinated staff who test positive for COVID-19 will still receive enhanced sick pay. IKEA are hoping that the move will help to encourage employees to get vaccinated so that they are able to come to work in a bid to reduce absences. Employment Law specialists have warned companies to be cautious if they are wanting to take the same approach, however. There are risks around potential discrimination claims if the rules are not applied fairly and consistently, and with the lack of case law around COVID-19, it could be a precarious strategy to reduce absence. If you are having issues around sickness absence, especially with the current spread of the Omicron variant, please get in touch to find out how we can help your business. National Minimum Wage – Increases Coming in April 2022 From 1st April 2022, the National Minimum Wage will be rising. It is extremely important that you have pay increases in place for workers on minimum wage, or currently below the new rates, on or before 1st April. Companies who do not pay minimum wage can face large fines, so you should ensure that all changes are communicated to both your employees and your payroll team. Platinum Jubilee - Extra Bank Holiday!

In June, Queen Elizabeth II marks 70 years on the throne, and all employees are entitled to an additional statutory bank holiday to join in on the celebrations! The usual late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2nd June and the additional Bank Holiday will take place on Friday 3rd June. We would advise that you treat the day as you would a normal Bank Holiday and give any employees who work on the day time off in lieu. Part time staff are also entitled to the pro rata equivalent hours. If you use the Breathe HR system, the extra holiday will be added for any employee who has been ticked as receiving statutory holidays, but will need to be added for part time staff. If you need any assistance in calculating part time entitlement including the extra day, or have any other queries, please get in touch.

If you have any HR queries please give a member of the team a call today, on 01926 853388, or email angela.roberts@arhrconsult.com. Visit www.arhrconsult.com for more information.

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