Employment and Related Matters
> National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) was introduced on 1 April 1999 and is reviewed each year by the Low Pay Commission. Any changes normally take place on 1 October. There have already been a number of instances of employers being penalised for not complying with the legislation. HMRC are the agency that ensures enforcement of the NMW.
> Statutory Sick, Statutory Maternity and Statutory Paternity Pay
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) are important regulations to understand as they enforce minimum legal requirements on employers. Each operates in a different way. This factsheet sets out the main principles of the regulations and what an employer needs to consider.
> Dismissal Procedures
There have been many changes to employment law and regulations in the last few years. A key area is the freedom or lack of freedom to dismiss an employee.
> Recruitment Procedures – Employment Law
Most claims for discrimination in recruitment have no maximum limit. Can your business afford compensation of perhaps £20,000 because you made a simple mistake?
> Recruitment Procedures – Seven Steps for Good Procedures
In order to avoid the danger of discriminating in some way, particularly unconsciously, employers must take care to develop and use recruitment procedures which will avoid the risk.
> Redundancy Procedures
There have been many changes to employment law and regulations in the last few years. A key area is the freedom or lack of freedom to make an individual redundant.
> Managing Absence
Recent surveys indicate that the adverse impact of absence on business profitability today is significant, with thousands of man hours lost every day. We consider the main principles of effective absence management.
> Health and Safety
It is very likely that owners and managers of many smaller businesses are not aware of just how demanding health and safety regulations can be.
> Legal Working in the UK
In line with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, it is a criminal offence to employ anyone who does not have an entitlement to work in the UK, or undertake the type of work you are offering. Any employer who does not comply with the law may be facing a fine of up to £10,000 per offence. Further, if employers knowingly use illegal migrant labour it could carry a maximum 2 year prison sentence and/or unlimited fine.
> Age Discrimination
The Equality Act 2010 replaces all previous equality legislation, including the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. The Equality Act covers age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. These are now called ‘protected characteristics’.
> Annual Leave
Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended) workers are entitled to paid statutory annual leave of 5.6 weeks (28 days if the employee works five days a week), this basic entitlement is inclusive of bank holidays. This annual leave entitlement is now closer to that of workers in other European countries, where holiday allowance is typically more generous. Workers in Ireland are entitled to 29 days; the highest minimum entitlement is in Austria at 38 days.
> Agency Workers Regulations
Regulations which took effect from 1 October 2011 mean that workers supplied to a company, or to any other entity, by an agency will become entitled to receive pay and basic working conditions equivalent to any directly employed employees after a 12 week qualifying period.