New compensation limits come into force on 6 April 2016. Statutory redundancy and the calculation of an unfair dismissal basic award is capped at £479 (was £475) for a week’s pay; the maximum statutory redundancy payment or basic award for unfair dismissal (30 weeks’ pay) increased to £14,370 (was £14,250); the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increased to £78,962 (was £78,335).
Often we are called when there is already an employment concern, ideally it is more efficient and cost effective if we can speak to you before there are issues, hopefully avoiding issues or managing them sensibly.
In a recent case Metroline West Ltd v Ajaj, the EAT said that if an employee “pulls a sickie” and this is then found to be untrue, the employee is in breach of trust and confidence. Therefore, the EAT agreed that the employer was right to dismiss the employee.
It is however important to ensure that a proper procedure is followed as well as a proper investigation and the employer has a reasonable belief that the employee is not sick.
We can review your existing absence policy, or if you don’t have one we can put one into place for you.
The Government has said that there will be no annual increase in maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental leave, adoption pay and sick pay. The current weekly rate for statutory maternity pay and other parental pay is £139.58, or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate. To be entitled to these statutory payments, the employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit and this amount is also frozen at £112. Statutory sick pay is also frozen at the current weekly rate of £88.45.
Employers can usually reclaim 92% of employees’ statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay.
Need your family friendly policies updated – contact us.
National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage / Living Wage
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is set by the Low Pay Commission and the current rate since 1 October 2015 is £6.70. This rate is compulsory for all employers.
From 1 April 2016, there will be an introduction of the National Living Wage which will replace the National Minimum Wage for those people over 25 only, the new rate will be £7.20. This rate is compulsory for all employers.
The Living Wage is the rate set by the Living Wage Foundation and is a voluntary rate with 2,000 businesses signed up to the scheme. The current UK rate is £8.25, and for those in London it is £9.40.
A current topic in HR is zero hours’ contracts, the Office of National Statistics reported data in January saying that there had been a 6% increase in the use of zero hours’ contracts by UK businesses during the last year. Zero hour contracts have attracted a lot of media attention following the Labour Party saying that they will ban them if they get elected. Some argue that they offer a greater flexibility in working patterns and 54% of those people on zero hours’ contracts are women.
In May 2015 a new regulation preventing employers from enforcing exclusivity clauses were brought in and in January 2016 zero hours’ workers were given the right to claim for unfair dismissal if they were subjected to a detriment for failing to comply with an exclusivity clause.
A contract of employment starts once the offer is accepted (whether in writing or not), there is then a legal requirement to give a written statement of employment within two months of starting work, which sets out the main terms of employment. To provide clear expectations it is sensible to go further than a written statement of employment and have a written contract of employment, which is clear on many things such as the length of notice, confidentiality and any restrictive covenants etc.
We can review your contracts of employment, or if you don’t have any we can put them into place for you.