Welcome to my latest HR Newsletter for Small and Micro Businesses. The post Brexit effect on employment law is yet to be felt. In the meantime, here’s the latest round-up of current UK legislative changes and their likely impact on small and micro businesses. Check out my FREE Downloads at the bottom of the Homepage.
National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage (1st Oct 2016)
For 21-24 year olds the rate increases from £6.70 to £6.95 per hour, for 18–20 year olds £5.30 to £5.55, for those aged 16–17 £3.87 to £4.00 and for apprentices aged 19 and below, or in the first year of their course, £3.30 to £3.40. Workers aged 25 and above continue to receive the National Living Wage of £7.20.
Kay’s comment: The National Minimum Wage rates and the National Living Wage will be increasing again in April 2017.
Illegal Immigration Penalties (July 2016)
Changes to the Immigration Act have tightened requirements and penalties.The Act gives additional powers to enforcement officers including the ability to close down a business for 48 hours if they are found to be employing illegal workers.
Apprenticeships (April 2017)
The Apprenticeship Levy for large employers (those with a pay bill that exceeds £3 million in a year) is aimed at encouraging employers to invest in apprenticeship programmes and raise additional funds to improve the quantity and quality of apprenticeships.
Kay’s comment: The benefits to smaller businesses should be easier access to information and government funding via digital apprenticeship services. It is hoped that SME’s under 50 employees will be able to access full training funding for apprenticeships for under 23 year olds.
Closing the Gender Pay Gap (April 2017)
Mandatory gender pay reporting, again for large employers (employing 250 people or more), was due for implementation this October, but has now been postponed to next year.
Kay’s comment: The pay differential between men and women is still significant across all sized organisations. Please do monitor your own pay structures and check you are not following any historical biases. The gender pay gap is highlighted further in this recent US report www.womenintheworkplace.com
Tax-free Childcare (2017)
The new tax-free childcare scheme will begin to roll out to parents in early 2017. It will be available to all eligible families by the end of the same year. The scheme will give £2,000 per child up to the age of 12 years old, where both parents are working (or there is a single parent).
Kay’s comment: Unlike the current employer-assisted childcare scheme there will be no employer national insurance savings as the scheme will be run via a direct government gateway.
HR Video: Please be mindful of the time you and your staff spend on devices in and outside work, as well as any implicit expectations to be available 24/7. I hope this video on Device Addiction makes you think!
HR Article: Returnships may be an option for you to consider in your business.
HR Article: Heartfulness is a wide reaching concept that is helping to tackle work-related stress issues.
Please Note: The information contained in this e-newsletter is provided for your general use only. It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.