New guidance published for employers on the Fit for Work Scheme

The Government has produced new guidance for employers, employees and GPs on the Fit for Work Scheme. The scheme is due to be rolled out April 2015.

Fit for Work is free and there are two elements: (a) an advice service providing health and work advice through a website (www.fitforwork.org (England and Wales) and www.fitforworkscotland.scot (Scotland)) and a telephone line (0800 032 6235 (England and Wales) and 0800 019 2211 (Scotland)) to help with absence prevention, and (b) a referral service providing an occupational health assessment and a return to work plan for employees who have been off sick from work, or who are likely to be off sick from work, for

Retiring An Employee

Retirement is no longer a potentially fair reason for dismissal in itself; any retirement dismissal must fall within one of the other potentially fair grounds for dismissal, most commonly some other substantial reason (SOSR). If an employee decides to take retirement it is usually a resignation or a termination by mutual agreement rather than a dismissal. In the case of a resignation an employee must hand in a written notice and will remain employed for the notice period.

It is still possible to dismiss staff on grounds of their age however the company must be able to evidence a compulsory retirement age must be a “proportionate” means of achieving

Right To Work In The UK

Employers have a duty to prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out prescribed document checks on people before employing them to ensure they are lawfully allowed to work in the UK. On 16 May 2014 changes to strengthen and simplify the civil penalty scheme for employees came into force. The maximum penalty that employers can receive for employing someone without the right to work increased from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker.

Should the employer be found to be employing an illegal employee, by following the correct procedures they ensure a statutory excuse to avoid payment of the civil penalty.

This procedure includes checking the validity

Statutory Rate Update

A reminder of the current rates associated with various statutory payments.

1.Unfair Dismissal/Redundancy
The cap on a week's pay relevant for several awards/payments including unfair dismissal basic award and redundancy payment is now £464.00 per week. Accordingly, the maximum unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay is now £13,920. The maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award is the lower of £76,574 or 52 weeks’ gross actual pay at the time of dismissal.

2.Failure to provide written terms of employment/contract of employment

Employees have right to receive a copy of their written terms within two months of commencing employment. Tribunals have the right where this has not occurred