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Employment Bulletin - March 2022

Recent changes in employment and immigration law


Although we are only in early 2022, it has already been a very busy year for employment and immigration law. Ashfords’ Employment Team brings you the following updates on some of the key developments.

Immigration Update: Digital Right to Work Checks for British and Irish nationals

From 6 April 2022, the Home Office is introducing a number of changes to right to work checks.

One of the key changes is the introduction of a new digital right to work check for British and Irish nationals.At a time where remote working has become the norm for so many businesses, this will be a welcome change for many employers, as it will mean that right to work checks do not have to be carried out in person or involve checking physical documents.

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The only way is up: Compensation Limits for Employment Tribunal claims and the National Minimum Wage are both set to rise

It has been confirmed that the maximum limits for compensation in Employment Tribunal claims will increase from 6th April 2022 (in relation to dismissals that take place on or after that date).

The National Minimum Wage for an apprentice or those under the age of 23 and the National Living Wage for those over the age of 23 are also due to rise on Friday 1st April 2022.

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Covid-19 and Dismissals – An unfair dismissal during Passover

Following on from our recent articles, Furlough Unfair Dismissal Cases Continue and Refusing To Attend Work Due To Covid-19 – Is It A Justifiable Health And Safety Concern?, we continue to raise awareness to employers of recent judgments in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims relating to Covid-19 and refusing to attend work, as those judgments are published.

Most recently, we have seen the judgement in the case of P Bialick v NNE Law Ltd, in which the Tribunal found that a company’s policy which requires staff to cancel holidays if they had been absent to ensure they returned to work after two weeks put employees who observed religious holidays other than Christian festivals at a disadvantage.

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Response to the Government’s reformation of non-compete clauses consultation to follow

Following on from our article, Should non-compete clauses be banned?, published in December 2020 which highlighted the Government’s plan to consult on reforming non-compete clauses in employment contracts, the Government has announced this week that it is still analysing responses to the consultation (which closed in February 2021) and will publish its response "in due course".

In December 2020, the Government confirmed that it would carry out a consultation on the proposals to make non-compete clauses enforceable only where the employer provides compensation to the employee during the term of the clause (and whether this could be complemented by additional transparency measures and statutory limits on the length of non-compete clauses) or, alternatively, to make post-termination, non-compete clauses in contracts of employment unenforceable.

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If you would like more information on the above, please contact our Employment team. If you would like to receive our bulletins on a regular basis, please click here.

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