Employment Help for the Very Busy Summer 2014

Welcome to the summer round-up of the latest legislative changes, some interesting rulings and how they are likely to impact small and micro businesses. If you find this information helpful, please pass on to others.

Flexible Working (30th June 2014)
The right to request Flexible Working has now been extended to all employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. The government hopes that the new legislation will help more individuals manage their work alongside other commitments. ACAS has produced the following documents to assist employers with their new obligations:

ACAS Code of Practice on Handling in a Reasonable Manner Requests to Work Flexibly

Handling requests in a reasonable manner to work flexibly: An ACAS Guide

Kay’s comment: Please note that despite the government’s commitment to reduce red-tape for micro businesses, this legislation will apply to ALL businesses. For a summary of the above ACAS guidelines and what you will need to do next, please read my recent blog post on Flexible Working and my guest post on Work from Home Wisdom.  If you are concerned about how to manage an increase in flexible working requests or how to administer the new process, just give me a call on 01952 246612 or drop me a note: kay@kayhealdhr.co.uk

Holiday Pay and Commission (Watch this Space)
A recent European ruling has stated that where commission forms an integral part of an employee’s pay it should be taken into consideration when calculating holiday pay. However UK law courts have yet to decide how the commission element should be calculated and what reference period will be used.

Kay’s comment: This will require a change to the UK Working Time Regulations to clarify what is meant by ‘normal pay’ and further decisions are still to be made about other variable elements of pay including overtime. In the meantime, organisations with sales staff working on commission and employees relying on regular overtime payments, are being encouraged to review their pay mechanisms and commission structures, to calculate the additional costs they are likely to incur with higher holiday payments.

National Minimum Wage and The Living Wage (1st October 2014)
This year’s National Minimum Wage increase will be the largest percentage rise since 2008 (for workers aged 21 and above the rate will increase from £6.31 to £6.50) but this is still not considered to be a Living Wage.

Kay’s comment: The current Living Wage outside London is £7.65. The Living Wage Commission is urging the government to support ‘The Living Wage’ and encourage more employers to take it up on a voluntary basis.

PENSION AUTO-ENROLMENT: Now is the time to be researching options, becoming familiar with new terminology and seeking out practical financial advice. The Pensions Regulator’s Essential Guide to Auto Enrolment e-brochure is well worth a read and if you would like to be put in touch with some friendly local independent financial advisers, please let me know.

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.

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