Employment law update 

23 March 2022

COVID-19 guidance in England updated

The guidance on COVID-19 testing and self-isolation changed on 24 February. Individuals are no longer required to: 

  • self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19; 
  • take daily tests when testing positive for COVID-19; and 
  • self-isolate after contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Since 17 March, employers with fewer than 250 employees, can no longer claim for COVID-19 related sickness absences (although they have until 24 March to claim for absences incurred up to and including 17 March). This legislative change will have potential ramifications for employers, namely ensuring the health and safety of their employees within the workplace. For more information, contact a member of the Employment Law Team. 

Employment Tribunal Compensation Claims

From 6 April 2022 there will be an uplift in the basic and compensatory award for unfair dismissal. The basic award will rise to £17,130 (an increase from £16,320) and the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will rise to £93,878 (an increase from £89,493). This new rate applies for employees whose employment is terminated on or after 6 April. The weekly pay rate on which the basic award (and other statutory awards such as a statutory redundancy payment) will be calculated will also be uplifted from 6 April: the new rate will be capped at £571 (an increase from £544).  

Right to Work checks – an update

The temporary adjustments to Right to Work checks as a result of Covid-19 are now due to end on 30 September 2022, rather than 6 April 2022, as previously indicated. The government notes that this should give employers enough time to update their processes and appoint a suitable service provider. The change allows: 

  • employers to continue carrying out checks via video calls; 
  • job applicants and existing workers to send scanned documents rather than original documents; 
  • employers to use the Home Office Checking Service in the absence of documentation. 

For all business immigration advice, please contact our Business Immigration Team.  


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Case Update 

Unequal pay policy risks significant penalties and reputational damage 

Macken v BNP Paribas 

Readers may recall a case involving a female employee of BNP Paribas, Mrs Macken, who brought successful claims against the bank for equal pay and sex discrimination. At Tribunal, one of the more memorable revelations in support of her sex discrimination claim was that male colleagues would regularly leave a witch’s hat on her desk. Mrs Macken’s claim succeeded in 2019 but, due to the pandemic, the remedy hearing was postponed until February 2022. There were a number of surprises in store for the bank at the remedy hearing, including the size of the compensatory award and, unusually, an order to carry out an equal pay audit – the first of its kind to be imposed on an employer by a Tribunal. Continue reading here.

Tina Chander
Partner, Head of Employment
[email protected]
+44 1926 884687
Kash Dosanjh
[email protected]
+44 1926 880736