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April 2016 Employment Law Update

27-04-2016

National Minimum Wage: October 2016 rates announced

David Cameron has announced increases to the standard adult rate, apprenticeship rate and accommodation offset limit of the NMW to take effect from 1 October 2016.

Following the introduction of the NMW Amendment Regulations on 1 April 2016 which added the new National Living Wage premium of 50p per hour to the NMW rate for workers over 25 years old, there are now 5 age groups:

CONSULTATION: Wages

Earlier this month, a consultation was initiated by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) seeking views on the existing rates of national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) and the new rates that be implemented from April 2017. Additionally, views are being sought on compliance and enforcement. The consultation closes on 29 July 2016 and you can participate here

EMPLOYER PENALTIES: enforcing tribunal awards

The new scheme for penalising employers who fail to pay employment tribunal awards or settlement sums came into force on 6 April 2016.

BIS has published a specific employment tribunal penalty enforcement form that a Claimant employee can use when they have not received an employment tribunal award or ACAS conciliated settlement (COT3) payment.

In the case of employment tribunal awards, a complaint cannot be made until 42 days after the tribunal judgment was made.

For ACAS settlements (COT3), a complaint can be submitted if payment has not been received by the date agreed as part of the conciliated settlement terms.

The submission of the form will lead to the Employment Tribunal Penalties Team contacting the employer regarding the outstanding payment of the award or settlement. They will then issue a warning notice to the employer informing them that they may have to pay a financial penalty to the government if the award is not paid within 28 days.

If the employer still does not pay the award, they can be issued with a penalty notice. The value of the penalty will equal half of the outstanding award as of the date the notice is issued (subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £5,000).

You can have a look at the new application form here

GUIDANCE: Preventing sex discrimination in the workplace

ACAS have published a new guide to help employers and managers understand the equality laws and prevent sex discrimination in the workplace. The guide includes advice on how to deal with common workplace activities where sex discrimination can occur, such as recruitment, dismissals and redundancies.

ACAS published the guide partly as a result of concerns regarding the volume of calls they receive to their helpline regarding sex discrimination (7,000 calls in the last year) and 91% of those were calls made by employees. You can have a look at the guidance here:

If you are responsible for HR matters within your business (or interested in employment law discussion), please contact us to attend the monthly HR Network sessions run by Julie Taylor from GL and Michelle Bailey from People Essentials. The next Newbury meeting is on Monday 9 May at 5pm and the same time in Maidenhead on Monday 6 June 2016.


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