Preparing for Brexit – the EU Settlement Scheme

Many employers are concerned about Brexit and the continuing uncertainty surrounding the leaving date of 31st October and whether a deal will be agreed or not or whether there will be a further delay.
One area of concern is the status of EU/EEA citizens working in the UK. When the UK's immigration system is changed in 2021 European citizens will need permission to work in the UK and employers need to understand these changes and how current and future European citizens will be affected.
The EU Settlement scheme (EUSS) is a process to register EU,EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK and to assign them either settled or pre

Changes to Rates and Thresholds from April 2019

As the new tax year approaches it is important to review the changes to rates and thresholds for the year ahead and make any changes to ensure your business is compliant.

National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage

The rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage increases from 1st April 2019

Age 25 and over - from the current rate of £7.83 to £8.21
Age 21 to 24 - from £7.38 to £7.70
Age 18 to 20 - from £5.90 to £6.15
Under 18 - from £4.20 to £4.35
Apprentice - from £3.70 to £3.90

Apprentices are entitled to the Apprentice

Managing Absence for Employers

For employers the challenge is to manage absence in a fair and consistent way and within the confines of the law. Generally sick absence falls into two categories, either short term absence or longer term sickness. The former can be a problem when there are frequent absences and the latter can be difficult to manage if the reason for the absence is unclear. When managing both types of absence it is essential that there is a clear policy in place setting out the acceptable attendance levels and that employees are aware of this. Where employees are dismissed for poor attendance it can then be clearly demonstrated that the employee has

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

Changing contracts of employment advice for employers

Employers who are considering changes to contract of employment may need to consider consulting an employment law advisor before doing so.

Usually the employer and employee both need to agree any contract changes and proper consultation should take place to reach agreement on the proposed changes. Consultation or negotiation may take place with the affected employee(s) or their representatives. For example trade union representatives or in some cases employees elected to represent their colleagues in this matter.

Employers should clearly explain the reasons for the changes and listen to alternative ideas from their employee's. It may also be good practice to talk to individuals about their future plans

Supreme Court Rules Employment Tribunal Fees are unlawful

The Supreme Court ruled on 26th July 2017 that the government had acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally by introducing fees for those bringing claims to an employment tribunal.  The fees of up to £1200 were introduced in July 2013 by Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor at that time, with the stated aim of reducing costs and ostensibly to discourage malicious claims.  However a review in 2017 on the impact of this change has shown there has been a 70% drop in the number of cases brought to the employment tribunal since fees were first introduced.

This has led to the belief that the fees have prevented comparatively large numbers of people with potentially legitimate claims

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

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