|EMPLOYMENT HELP FOR THE VERY BUSY
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter which coincides with the latest round of employment law changes.
EQUALITY ACT 2010
The launch of this Act has received a mixed reaction from the press, but as with many employment law changes, common sense and a bit of explanation will go a long way in easing its implementation into your organisation. The key changes that will affect most small businesses revolve around definitions and understanding the extent to which different discriminations apply to the nine protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion and belief). Practical action you can take straight away includes:
- Adding three further definitions to your Equal Opportunities Policy – ASSOCIATIVE DISCRIMINATION, PERCEPTIVE DISCRIMINATION and THIRD PARTY HARASSMENT
- Removing the use of pre-employment health questionnaires in any future recruitment campaigns, unless you can justify them for an intrinsic job-related reason
- Removing any secrecy clauses in your written employment contracts regarding the discussion of pay with colleagues.
Kay Heald comment: If you would like help in updating your policy or want to check that it meets the new legislation – give me a call or drop me an email. If you would like to find out more about the Equality Act, have a look at the FREE Equality Act ACAS Quick Start Guide.
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
The National Minimum Wage has not just increased, but the age bands have been adjusted and there is also a new apprentice rate:
For workers aged 21 and above the rate is now £5.93 per hour
For workers aged between 18 and 20 the rate is now £4.92 per hour
For workers aged between 16 and 17 the rate is now £3.64 per hour
A new apprentice rate for those aged 19 and below, or in the first year of their course is £2.50 per hour
DEFAULT RETIREMENT AGE
Consultation on the Default Retirement Age of 65 continues, but companies are being recommended to seriously consider voluntarily removing their retirement age before being forced to do so. The emphasis on employers will be to actively manage the performance of all their staff, regardless of age. Performance management systems incorporating appraisals, reviews, training and development, team-building and evaluation will become increasingly important.
Kay Heald comment: I think this is an exciting time for small businesses to show their initiative and get creative with how to develop and manage their people. Take the first step by looking at Michaela Hardwick’s article on Team-Building, called Small But Perfectly Formed.
DATA PROTECTION: If you’re not sure how to navigate around your ‘data protection’ responsibilities, help is at hand with Darstardly Data: Data Protection for Small Businesses
EMPLOYEE HEALTH: Employee Wellness is the new ‘buzzword’, find out why organisations are now seriously looking at employee health and cost effective ways to keep them healthy in Jackie Ward’s article, Employee Wellness: An Economic Issue
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.