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Minimum Wage Increases

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 7:11 AM Comments comments (1)
Don't forget that on 1st October 2013 national minimum wage increases for all levels.

21 and over goes up from £6.19 to £6.31

18 to 20 rises from £4.98 to £5.03

Under 18 moves from £3.68 to £3.72 

And Apprentice* increases from £2.65 to £2.68

Employers ensure you make the relevant adjustments and employees make sure you are being paid correctly. 

Unison vs. Tribunal Fees

Posted on August 1, 2013 at 4:36 AM Comments comments (0)
Harries Human Resources reported in our blog dated 10 June 2013 “Tribunal Fees Confirmed” about the changes in full swing for the employment tribunal services.
On and after 29 July 2013 the tribunal service has implemented their charging structure for anyone wishing to make a claim based on a two level fee platform.

However, trade union UNISON has launched a legal challenge against the fee introduction.  This judicial review, if granted could revoke the new fee charges. The union has been granted permission from the Royal Courts for a review hearing in October 2013.

It is the general feeling that the government cannot and should not put a cost on justice and as such the fees are not fair or just and should be dropped.
The two arguing points put forward by UNISON are:-

1.The fees discriminate indirectly against women who earn less than men (typically).
2.It is not lawful to introduce fees which create difficulty in enforcing European Union law.

Though an injunction to delay the introduction of the fees were denied and the fees are now in effect, the full outcome of this challenge will not be known until the full hearing in October 2013.

It is anticipated that if the judicial review is successful the Tribunals may have to repay all fees paid to them in the interim.

Keep visiting our blog as the details of this unfolds!

If you need help and support with any employee issues please call 01206 865464.

Latest dates announced for Employment Law changes

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 4:19 AM Comments comments (14)
Further details of when provisions of the Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Act 2013 due to come into force have now been published by the department for Business, Innovation & Skills. The details include the repeal for third-party harassment covered under the Equality Act 2010 and the preface of early conciliation via ACAS.
 
The provisions under the Act come into force on the 25 June 2013.
 
In July 2013 the government plans to introduce a cap of 12 months’ pay on the compensatory award limit for unfair dismissal.
 
On the 1 October 2013 under third-party harassment provisions covered under the Equality Act 2010 employers could be found liable for harassment of their employees by third parties.
 
National minimum wage is due to be introduced into the agricultural sector abolishing the agricultural minimum wage.
 
As of the 6 April 2014 claimants will be required to supply information about their potential claim to ACAS for early conciliation before submitting their ET1 to a tribunal.
 
On 6 April 2014 the statutory discrimination questionnaire procedure is due to be abolished. This procedure previously allowed claimants to obtain information from a party they believed had discriminated against them.
 
From October 2014 Employment tribunals will be required to impose an equal pay audit order when an employer has breached the equal pay provisions under the Equality Act 2010.
 

To receive a copy of the guide and timetable for the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 please contact us on T: 01206 865464 OR E: [email protected]

Tribunal Fees Confirmed

Posted on June 10, 2013 at 11:28 AM Comments comments (0)
The tribunal service has now confirmed the implementation date for its new fee structure. As of the 29 July 2013 fees will be applicable for all employment tribunal claims and appeals lodged. The draft Employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal fees order 2013 will take effect on and after the 29 July 2013. Moving forward claimants will be required to make a payment based on levels to submit a claim. This introduction will not affect claims already submitted or appeals made before the Order comes into force.

Level 1 claim categories include unpaid wages, redundancy payments, and holiday payments. Where Level 2 claims will cover unfair dismissal, discrimination and equal pay.  The fees payable are covered in two parts an issue fee and a hearing fee for both levels.

Level 1: Issue fee = £160 & hearing fee = £230
Level 2: issue fee = £250 & hearing fee = £950
Appeals: issue fee = £400 & hearing fee = £1,200

These fees are payable by the claimant.

Harries HR can assist you with COT3 and settlement agreements to avoid the need to go to a tribunal. Contact us now for a confidential discussion on 01206 865464.

Next weeks blog update DO NOT MISS OUT!

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)
Next week we give you details of:

  • The forthcoming Employment Tribunal Fees and how this may affect you and your employees.

  • Useful information on CRB checks including the new and long awaited 'mobile' DBS certificates.

  • And our round-up of important case law, with cases on post-termination restrictions, redundancy, contracts and TUPE.

Email us at [email protected] to receive your free personnel file check list so you can check that you have everything legally required for each employee on file!


2013 Legal Updates

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 6:19 AM Comments comments (0)
It is fair to say year on year a significant amount of change is inevitable. With change however comes uncertainty.
 
The key changes which have come into force & are still due to take effect include:
 
• 1February – New tribunal award limit came into force for unfair dismissal an increase from £72,300 to £74,200.
• 8March – Parental leave increased from 13 weeks to 18 weeks.
• March- DBS (CRB) checks became portable between employers.
• 6April – Collective consultation periods were reduced to 45 days.
• 6April – RTI for payroll reporting began.
• 7April – Statutory Maternity, paternity & Adoption pay increased to £136.78
• 6April – SSP increased from £85.85 to £86.70
• Summer– fees for bringing an employment tribunal claim will be imposed.
• Sept/Oct– Employee-shareholder contracts are introduced.
 
As such Employers must take into consideration current contracts of employment and specifically family friendly policies.
 
Are your documents legally compliant and reflect today’s legislative changes?
 
Do they meet all statutory obligations?
 
Many employers are still not aware of their responsibility of ensuring terms & conditions of employment are in place within 2 months of an employee starting work. If this is not in place you could face an automatic 25% uplift at an employment tribunal.
 
It is recommended you have a fit for purpose employee handbook with clearly defined policies and procedures in place.
 
With the Government moving to a more family friendly stance affecting– Maternity, Paternity and adoption rights, the next phase is likely to look at things such as time off for fertility treatment, increased flexible working, and more time off for dependents.
 
The impact this can have on a smaller workforce means the time is now to look at your policies and business continuity plans.
 
Contact me now to discuss how HHR can support you with our HR in a Box toolkit and business continuity planning!
 
T: 01206 865464                     M: 07811962979
E: [email protected]          W: www.harrieshr.co.uk
 

Time off Work

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM Comments comments (1)
At a time where women are choosing to delay starting a family questions have arisen regarding time off for fertility treatment.
 
So what rights does an employee have in respect of time off for fertility treatment?
 
Well, there are no statutory rights to time off for fertility treatment.
 
However, some employers are now choosing to adopt a policy along these lines:
 
  • Permit employees to take up to (two/three/five) days leave in any one year to undergo fertility treatment.  This applies equally to the partner
 
  • To qualify for time off under the policy, the employee must have a minimum of (6 months/12 months/2 years – see above) continuous service
 
  • Time off can be paid or unpaid at the discretion of the Company
 
  • Any time require beyond this, can be taken as annual leave
 
 
The Employee needs to:
 
  • Inform their Line Manager when treatment has been confirmed
 
  • Provide a statement from a qualified medical practitioner that fertility treatment has been recommended and approved
 
  • At the request of the Line Manager, produce an appointment card for each occasion on which time off is requested
 
  • Try, where possible, to arrange appointments at times that will cause the minimum amount of inconvenience to the Company
 
  • Give as much notice as possible of the days on which time off is required
 
 
All information provided to the Line Manager is to be treated in confidence and in line with the Data Protection Act.
 
For support on all Time off work requests please contact
 
Rue Harries BA, Chartered MCIPD, REC
Head of HR Services
T: 01206 865464                              M: 07811962979
E: [email protected]  W: www.harrieshr.co.uk

Employee-shareholder contracts UPDATE!!

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 4:49 AM Comments comments (2)
Further to my blog a few weeks ago regarding the introduction of an Employee-shareholder contract the latest news on this fascinating topic and its shake-up to the world of terms and conditions of employment follows:
 
The government initially planned to introduce the new type of contract in April 2103. The House of Lords however rejected it on their reading of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill leading to The House of Commons ultimately deciding whether or not to reinstate the Government's proposal on employee shareholder contracts.
 
The latest news is that the proposed employee shareholder contracts are now likely to come into effect on 1st September 2013. It’s important to note however that any Employers wishing to implement this status will need professional advice and will also have to pay for the prospective Employee to get independent legal advice before agreeing to any employee shareholder contract.
 
Other concessions include:
· A seven day 'cooling off' period, during which any acceptance of employee shareholder status will not be binding
· Employers must provide a written statement with full details about the shares and the rights they carry
· Any jobseeker who refuses an offer with employee shareholder status will not forfeit their social security benefits
· The first £2,000 of shares will not attract income tax
· Existing workers will be protected from detriment if they refuse to switch to an   employee-shareholder contract
 
Certainly one to keep an eye on as things progress to assess the take up and interest in this new type of contract!
 
For any permanent, fixed term, casual or independent contract template needs please contact the team.

TUPE TRANSFER & CHECKING ELIGIBILITY TO WORK STATUS

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 7:02 AM Comments comments (2)
In the event that your Company has gone through a TUPE transfer, you do have a responsibility to check that all the transferred employees have the right to work in the UK. It is even more important to note you only have 28 days in which to carry out these checks. 
 
If you fail to do these checks it could result in your Business being fined up to £10,000 if an illegal worker is identified by the home office.
 
If you have any doubt about whether or not the documentation is valid, the Home Office will check the documentation on your behalf, but please note that this checking process can take up to 4 working days. 
 
Where an illegal worker is identified either by you, or the Home Office, the contract of Employment should be terminated with immediate effect.
 
Contact us ASAP for any support needed in relation to TUPE or right to work checks and acceptable documentation.
 

The Ins and Outs of Parental Leave

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 4:46 AM Comments comments (3)
Recently the government implemented a revised parental leave directive. This change meant an increase to parental leave from 13 weeks to 18 weeks as at the 8 March 2013.
 
But what does this actually mean? The right to parental leave is a right to take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave if you are an employee with one year or more service and have parental responsibility for a child up to 5 years old. In cases where the child is disabled parental leave can be taken at any time up to the child becoming 18.
· If you qualify for parental leave you are entitled to 18 weeks of unpaid leave in respect of each individual child.
· If you have several children, you are entitled to 18 weeks leave per child under 5.
· If you work part-time, your period of leave is reduced in proportion to your reduced working hours.
· The right to parental leave is a right to take up to 18 weeks per child in total and not 18 weeks during successive contracts with different employers. 
· Parental leave must be taken in blocks of one week (or, if your child is disabled, in blocks of one day) up to a maximum of four weeks for any individual child in any one year.
· During parental leave employees continue to accrue holiday.
· Parental leave can be taken immediately after maternity leave.
· The employees contract of employment remains in place and is entitled to return after parental leave of four weeks or less to the same job.
 
Should a request for parental leave be made employees are expected to give as much notice as possible of absence dates proposed or 21 days as a minimum.
 
If you need help and advice of Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, or any family friendly employment issues contact us now for a no obligation quote.