National Living Wage Changes – April 2017

NLW and NMW Increases
The National Living Wage was introduced at £7.20 per hour in April 2016 for employees over the age of 25 with the stated aim of increasing this to £9.00 an hour by 2020. In the autumn statement the Chancellor announced an increase of 30 pence an hour effective from April 2017. Some observers believe this to be a slightly lower increase than might have been expected if the goal of £9.00 an hour is to be reached by 2020.
The new minimum rates of pay rates from 1 April 2017 will be:
National Living Wage
£7.50 per hour - 25 years old and over
National

Probationary Periods

Many employers require new employees to complete a “probationary” or “trial period” at the start of their employment before the appointment will be confirmed. This is to allow time for both the employee and employer to assess the suitability of the position during a specified time period.
It should be made clear when an offer of employment is made that the offer is subject to employment confirmation at the end of a probationary period and the employer should specify the length of the probationary period, what training and support will be available, what is expected of the employee during this time and how and when reviews will take place. There

A reminder of two important Employment Law Changes from April 2016

The most highly publicised change is the introduction of the the National Living Wage that will affect everyone over 25 years of age. From 1st 2016 April the new top rate for the minimum wage for this group will be £7.20 an hour. At the same time the penalty for any employer found not to be paying the minimum wage will double and this will include not paying the new living wage.
The other much discussed change is the introduction of the new single tier state pension replacing the basic state pension and the additional state pension. Effective from 6th April 2016 this will affect new pensioners and people in

ACAS Early Conciliation

It is always best to resolve work place disputes as early as possible by following the business or organisations grievance or appeals policy, where these are in place, until the process is concluded. Where resolution cannot be achieved and the employee intends to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim they are legally obliged to notify ACAS before doing so. ACAS will then offer the opportunity of Acas Early Conciliation.
Acas early conciliation is voluntary and offered to both sides with the aim of settling the matter and involves them working with the employer and employee to help find a solution that is acceptable to both parties and so avoid the

Christmas Party Season

Is your work place prepared for the Christmas Party season and the challenges that can arise around issues of conduct or discrimination?
Employers have a “duty of care” to their employees and the Equality Act of 2010 makes employers liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by employees in the course of their employment unless the employer can show that reasonable steps had been taken to prevent such actions. Employment Tribunals have ruled that social events involving employees immediately after work or at an organised function such as a Christmas or leaving party could be considered as within the “course of employment”.
So what steps should employers