As spring has sprung so has the new tax year, bringing with it new compensation limits, family friendly payments, national minimum wage requirements and sick pay changes.
Vento Bands (Injury to feelings compensation)
The bands of award for injury to feelings in discrimination cases has been updated by the presidents of the employment tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland. The changes will come into effect on 6th April 2022 and will apply to Tribunal cases scheduled from this date onwards.
The update applies to discrimination claims brought under the Equality act 2010. When calculating compensation that can be awarded by tribunals, part of the damages considered is ‘injury to feeling’. The aim of this is to remedy the upset, distress or anxiety that a worker has suffered as a result of discrimination. The amount of damages that a worker is entitled to is dependant on the severity of their case, and has been separated into categories known as ‘Vento bands’. As of 6th April 2022, the Vento bands will be as follows:
- lower band of £900 to £9,900 for less serious cases
- middle band of £9,900 to £29,600 for cases which do not merit an award in the upper band
- upper band of £29,600 to £49,300 for the most serious cases
Tribunals have discretion as to which band the case falls into, and where in the band the claim lies. In exceptional cases it is possible for tribunals to award more than £49,300 where they feel it is appropriate. Vento bands are reviewed annually and will be subject to change again in April 2023.
The beginning of the new tax year brings increases to the core compensation limits for certain employment rights, from April 6th 2022 the below increases will apply:
|Payments||Current rate||Rate from 6th April 2022|
|Limit on a week’s pay for calculating redundancy and unfair dismissal basic award||£544||£571|
|Maximum basic award for unfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payment (30 weeks’ pay subject to the limit on week’s pay)||£16,320||£17,130|
|Minimum basic award for dismissal on trade union, health and safety, occupational pension scheme trustee, employee representative and on working time grounds only||£6,634||£6,959|
|Minimum compensation for employees excluded/expelled from trade union||£10,132||£10,628|
Family Friendly Payments
From 3rd April 2022, family friendly rights weekly payments have increased from £151.97 to £156.66, or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. Family friendly payments include:
- statutory maternity pay
- statutory shared parental pay
- statutory adoption pay
- statutory paternity pay
- statutory parental bereavement pay
National Minimum Wage Increase
From 1st April 2022 national minimum wage entitlements increased to the below:
|Wage Band by Age||Current rate||Rate from 1st April 2022|
|23 and over||£8.91||£9.50|
|21 to 22||£8.36||£9.18|
|18 to 20||£6.56||£6.83|
All workers and employees are entitled to national minimum or national living wage. If employers have any workers or employee’s currently earning national or living minimum wage, the adjustments to their pay will have to be made from their first pay packet in April.
Statutory Sick Pay
From the 6th April 2022 the weekly rate of statutory sick pay will increase from £96.35 to £99.35