National Minimum Wage increases in October 2013

The Government has announced that the national minimum wage is to rise by 12p an hour to £6.31 for adults and by 5p to £5.03 for 18-to-20-year-olds from October this year.

These latest minimum wage rates were announced by the government and recommended by the Low Pay Commission (LPC). The LPC did recommend a wage freeze for apprentices but the government increased the rate by 3 pence to £2.68 an hour.

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Pay Increases from April…

This month sees the following changes in statutory pay:

  • From 6th April 2013 the standard rate of statutory sick pay increases from £85.85 to £86.70 per week
  • From 7th April 2013 the standard rates of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase from £135.45 to £136.78 per week

Look out for our blog & on our social media soon where we’ll be highlighting the key changes to employment law your nursery will need to know.

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An Employers Guide to Adverse Weather

With the disruption that’s been caused with the recent snowfall and adverse weather conditions, and reports indicating more to come, this guide highlights the issues you may face and practical advice on dealing with them:

What if my employee cannot get to work due to the severe weather conditions?
Employers are not obliged to pay employees if they are unable to get to work and carry out their work required by the company. However, employers can choose to pay employees as a goodwill gesture.

What if my employee has to stay at home and look after their child due to a school closure?
This is a popular problem that most employers face. Employees are entitled to time off for emergencies related to their dependants. This time however can be unpaid.

Can my employee work from home?
It may be worth looking into whether your employee is able to carry out some of their day to day duties and work from home. If an employee suggests working from home they are only entitled to be paid for work carried out so you can pay employees pro rata for any hours worked. However, this can be difficult identifying and proving exact hours worked. If you as an employer agree that your employee can work from home, you should expect to pay them their normal rate of pay.

Can I make my employees take the time off as annual leave?
Employers cannot force employees to take any time off as annual leave. You can however decide between employer and employee whether they should take their time off as annual leave, unpaid leave, or possibly make the time up.

Due to the temporary nature of adverse weather conditions, you may wish to exercise good will when dealing with the above issues, and pay employees who cannot attend their normal place of work through no fault of their own.

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Increase in tribunal payout from Feb 2013

From 1st February 2013 the maximum award for unfair dismissal claims will increase from £72,300 to £74,200. Other related payments will also be affected including Redundancy payments.

The Government has announced increases to the limits for Employment Tribunal awards and related payments. These will come into effect from 1st February 2013.

Redundancy payments
When calculating statutory redundancy payments the limit on a week’s pay will rise from £430 to £450. This rise also applies to the calculation of the basic award in unfair dismissal cases.

Unfair dismissal payouts
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £72,300 to £74,200. The Government is currently reviewing the level of compensatory awards and this, in time, may see them decrease dramatically from this high.

The minimum basic award in cases where the dismissal was unfair by virtue of being an employee representative or trade union official, health and safely reasons or reasons connected to being an occupational pension trustee will increase from £5,300 to 5,500.

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Redundancy consultation period will be halved

The Government have announced plans to reduce the current 90 day minimum period, before large-scale redundancies can take place to 45 days. This controversial announcement has prompted Unions to accuse the Government of making it easier to sack staff.

At present, companies must consult with staff for a minimum of 30 days before making more than 20 staff redundant, or 90 days when 100 or more jobs are at risk.

The changes form part of the government’s commitment to review employment law to support business and concentrate on growth.

Draft regulations will be laid in the New Year and the changes are expected to be made with effect from 6 April 2013.

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