HR Update from Populo



The SSP Rebate Scheme was re-introduced on 21 December 2021 in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant. An employer with fewer than 250 employees (as at 30 November 2021) who has paid SSP for absences linked to coronavirus-related sickness or self-isolation can be eligible for the rebate for periods of sickness starting on or after 21 December 2021.

You could recover up to two weeks’ SSP for each employee.  Claims can be made retrospectively from mid-January. The scheme will end on 24 March 2022.

After 24th March, there is a return to the normal SSP rules, which means employers should revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day their employee is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.


From 1 April 2022, the National Living Wage (payable to workers aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage will increase as follows:

  • For workers aged 23 and over from £8.91 to £9.50
  • For workers aged 21-22 from £8.36 to £9.18
  • For workers aged 18-20 from £6.56 to £6.83
  • For workers aged 16-17 from £4.62 to £4.81
  • Apprentice rate from £4.30 to £4.81

The increase in the National Living Wage rate to £9.50 represents an increase of 6.6% and the age threshold will reduce again to those aged 21 and over by 2024.

From 3 April 2022:

The weekly rate of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement leave pay will increase from £151.97 to £156.66 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this is less than the statutory rate.

From 6 April 2022:

The weekly rate of statutory sick pay will increase from £96.35 to £99.35.


You will be aware that before any individual starts working for you, it is essential to establish that the individual has the right to work in the UK. Failure to carry out a “right to work check” or to carry it out properly, can result in a fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker. There are criminal penalties too, with a custodial sentence of up to 5 years and an unlimited fine if an employer is found guilty of employing someone who they knew or had “reasonable cause to believe” did not have the right to work in the UK.

The government has announced that from 6 April 2022, the evidence required for right to work checks is changing for some foreign nationals. Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders will no longer be able to use their physical card but will have to use the Home Office online service only. For further information go to for an employer’s guide to right to work checks


As part of the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the late May bank holiday will be moved to Thursday 2 June 2022, while an additional bank holiday will take place on Friday 3 June 2022.


The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has recently published a guide which aims to provide information/support on managing an employee with a long-term health condition. Those of you dealing with such issues may find the guide* helpful.


The latest labour market report from the CIPD* shows that employers expect median basic pay awards to rise by 3%. 

*If you have any issues accessing the CIPD reports/guides please do get back to me. 


Eileen Connelly was until recently a manager for one of my small charity clients.  Eileen has recently left the charity sector to concentrate on her holistic treatments including “at desk” treatments in central London.  If based in central London and interested in her wellbeing services, you can contact Eileen as follows: or phone: 07956 803 224


My HR colleague, Stella Marshall has a passion for CV writing and career coaching.  She has supported many people with their next steps into new careers and coached them in overcoming obstacles along the way.   

Stella’s goal is to empower people to find jobs where they will be successful and that they will find personally fulfilling. If interested, her contact details are – email: ; website:


  • Every Wednesday 10:00-12:00pm I provide free HR telephone advice to small charities and social enterprises. So if you have a people issue which would benefit from running past me and is suitable to be resolved through a brief call then please do get in touch.
  • I can provide short virtual training sessions (1 – 2 hours) on a range of HR issues, e.g. working status, employment contracts, HR policies and procedures, recruitment and selection, discipline and grievance, performance management, managing sickness absence etc. If there is an area which is of particular interest for you in terms of training need/more support, then please do let me know. 
  • If anyone is interested in participating in an action learning group or would like to understand a bit more about action learning, then please do get in touch. 
  • I am very happy to have a free c. 20 minute check-in with you to discuss your current priorities with respect to your people issues. 


Sonia Wilson MA, Chartered FCIPD (She/Her)

07584 731420


Skip to content