Keep Your Business on the Right Side of the Law
All through the year, changes are made to Employment Law. As an employer, you need to know about these changes and how they could affect your business. If you don’t keep up with them, you could end up on the wrong side of the law.
Dear <<First Name>>,
This issue of Working Together brings you a summary of the latest changes, so you can make sure you're up to date.
0118 940 3032
What Are The Latest Employment Law Updates?
Changes to employment law can be confusing, so here is a simplification of some of the updates that you need to know about.
- Workers from overseas – from 1 January 2014, restrictions on working in EU states were lifted for Bulgarian and Romanian workers. Remember to check the right to work in the UK for all new employees you take on.
- Employing illegal workers – from 6 April 2014, the maximum civil penalty for employing an adult subject to immigration control, who does not have the right to work in the UK, increased to £20,000 from £10,000. New guidance has been issued by the Home Office in the “Full guide for employers on preventing illegal working.”
- Employment Allowance – from 6 April 2014 a £2000 reduction in the NIC bill for all businesses and charities has been introduced. HMRC has a calculator and information you can use here to find out if you're eligible.
- Employment tribunal fees – from 6 April 2014 some re-categorisation of claims has been done. As a reminder, Type A claims are £160 for the issue fee plus £230 for the hearing fee; Type B claims are £250 for the issue fee and £950 for the hearing fee. Type B claims include unfair dismissal. The Tribunal can order the employer to pay if the claim is successful.
- Tribunal penalties for employers – from 6 April penalties can be imposed on employers who lose tribunals. This could be 50% of the award between £100 and £5000 where the employer breaches the employee's rights and where there are aggravating factors; or where the employer has not made a genuine mistake but has made a deliberate breach of the ACAS code. If you run a small business there is some leniency, but larger employers are expected to follow the new rules.
- ACAS Early Conciliation – from 6 May, early conciliation is compulsory before a claim can be submitted. The claimant must contact ACAS, who will issue an early conciliation certificate when the process is complete. As an employer, this now gives you opportunity to get early warning of a case or to settle.
- Statutory pay rates – from 6 April, maternity, paternity and adoption is raised to £138.18. Sick pay rises to £87.55 and gross pay for redundancy is £464.
- Abolition of the percentage threshold – before 6 April employers could claim back sick pay if it exceeded 13% of the employees Class 1 National Insurance in the month. That threshold has now been abolished.
- Abolition of SSP record keeping obligations – from 6 April there will be no requirement to keep specified records of dates of sickness and SSP payments. Before this there was a requirement to keep records for three years.
You might have heard news about changes to how you calculate Holiday Pay. The law has not changed yet, but we'll keep you informed and up to date on our blog which you can read at www.optionshr.co.uk/blog, along with other legal changes that are proposed for later in the year.
More Information Online
There a plenty of resources online to help you find out what you need to know about legal updates. Have a look at: www.acas.org.uk – advice on all things HR
www.cipd.co.uk/pm – articles from the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development
Or you can get in touch with Options HR if you have any specific questions about your business and your staff!