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EMPLOYMENT HELP FOR THE VERY BUSY

SPRING – SUMMER 2011
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter packed full of exciting HR news for you!
REDUCTIONS IN RED TAPE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
In the recent 2011 Budget, the Government pledged to support small businesses. Several changes planned for this April have been put on hold and others are now being reviewed.  Existing business regulations will also come under scrutiny and may be tagged with sunset clauses or five year life spans.  If you have not yet had a chance to see the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s letter to small businesses – click here.
Kay Heald comment: The practicalities of exempting micro (under 10 employees) and new start-up businesses from any new domestic regulations until April 2014 have not yet been worked out. In reality the EU may be able to exert influences that over-ride UK regulations and employees of micro businesses may assert their statutory rights if they come into conflict with this exemption. I’m know there will be lots of interesting developments on this one and I will be sure to keep you updated.
Action: The most sensible course of action is to keep informed via newsletters like this one and make informed decisions about what you choose or do not choose to follow – of course, I will be here to guide you!
FLEXIBLE RIGHTS – Postponed?
The right of staff to request leave for training will not now be extended to firms with fewer than 250 employees and the extension of flexible working rights for all parents of children aged under the age of 18 has been postponed.
Kay Heald comment: Flexible working rights may have been curbed and postponed for the time being, but the Government remains committed to extending these rights across all businesses.  Flexible working practices still make good business sense and help to keep staff motivated and engaged, so please don’t ignore any reasonable requests from your employees.
NEW RATES
Statutory Sick Pay is now £81.60 per week
Statutory Maternity, Adoption and Paternity is now £128.73 per week
Lower Earnings Limit is now £102 per week, Earnings Threshold is now £139 per week
** HOT OFF THE PRESS ** New National Minimum Wage Rates for October 2011 will be: 21+ £6.08, 18-20 £4.98, 16-17 £3.68, Apprentice rate £2.60 p/hr
CHANGES TO MATERNITY AND PATERNITY PROVISION
Fathers of children with an expected week of birth beginning on or after 3rd April 2011 will now be allowed up to 26 weeks’ additional paternity leave, if the mother returns to work before using her full entitlement to statutory maternity leave.
Kay Heald comment: If you would like more details on how this will work in practice, please give me a call on 05600 434 727, as there are eligibility issues and notice specifications that will apply.
BRIBERY ACT
This Act has been postponed for a second time – an alternative implementation date has now been set for 1st July 2011.  Guidance indicates that the measures will be less prescriptive for most small businesses, with enforcement agencies concentrating on the paying of bribes to win contracts rather than corporate or business entertaining.
EXTRA BANK HOLIDAYS
Make sure you are prepared for the unusual sequence of Bank and Public Holidays: 22nd April, 25th April, 29th April, 2nd May
RETIREMENT
The phasing out of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) has progressed further.  From 6th April employers are no longer able to issue notification of compulsory retirement using the DRA procedures.  The DRA will be removed on 1st October 2011. ACAS have produced a useful FREE guide: Working Without the Default Retirement Age
Kay Heald comment: There’s never been a better time to introduce an appraisal system – it will be up to business owners to manage the performance of all their staff and deal fairly with any capability issues as and when they arise, not wait until they reach 65! People’s retirement plans will be far more flexible, with mutually agreed phased retirements becoming much more common.  And …
MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP NEWS
After the success of January’s Burst of Motivation Workshop ‘taster’ session, I am pleased to tell you that we are running a new Workshop Peak Performance is Possible on 15th June 2011 – I will be joining forces again with Michaela Hardwick from Beyond Expectation and also Rachael Stone from Shrewsbury-based recruitment agency Red Recruitment – more details to follow. We will be returning to the lovely Monkhouse Granary for a half day workshop full of practical tips and ideas to ensure performance management and appraisals bring real business benefits to you and your organisation. Look out for your invitation!
FAMILY BUSINESSES
In my ongoing quest to bring you useful information and resources, I have started a new series of HR blogs on my (now much faster) Website, aimed at small Family Businesses . Please click on the links below to access the first two articles:
I would really value your feedback. Future articles will include Family Business Succession Planning and Dispute Resolution.
Those running Family Businesses may also be interested in an event being run by Coventry University’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship on Thursday 26th May 2011 – let me know if you would like more details via kay@kayhealdhr.co.uk.
RECRUITMENT
Several clients have mentioned how much time they are spending on recruitment at the moment, from wading through CVs and application forms to carrying out interviews.  If you haven’t used a recruitment specialist before, or you think using one would be prohibitively expensive, I recommend you have a word with Chimène Felton from FieldSearch – who is offering some very reasonable fixed price fees for Shropshire-based companies, Tel: 07875 588390,  or chimene@fieldsearch.com
FIRST AID TRAINING
If you are aware that you and your staff need first aid training, but are finding many of the courses rather expensive, then check out the details from my friends at Wenlock Health & Safety. They can offer different packages with prices starting from as little as £39 + VAT per person for a minimum of 8 people. For more details, email Becki on: becki.horsewood@wenlockhs.co.uk
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.

My mailing address is: kay@kayhealdhr.co.uk

Copyright (C) 2010 Kay Heald HR All rights reserved.

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