Changes to Employment Law – Can You Keep Up?

Changes to Employment Law – Can You Keep Up?

Twice a year, in April and October, changes are made to UK employment law. There’s a lot that you need to know, so to help you keep abreast of the changes, I’m running one of my very popular workshops to discuss and simplify the changes. It will be held on 1 May 2014 and Hennerton Golf Club, Wargrave, Berkshire. Click here to book your place.

Here’s a summary of some of the proposed changes to due to take place this spring:

  • Power of Employment Tribunal to impose Financial Penalties on employers. The Employment Tribunal will have the power to order an employer who has lost a case to pay a financial penalty, to the Secretary of State, of between £100 and £5,000. The penalty will be imposed where the employer has breached any of the worker’s rights. Tribunal Financial Penalties apply from 6 April 2014.
  • Early conciliation to come into force. Before lodging a claim to the Tribunal, all claimants will need to notify Acas first, where conciliation will be offered. If conciliation is unsuccessful within the set period the claimant can proceed to lodge a tribunal claim. This comes into force on 6 May 2014.
  • Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase. The rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption rate will increase to £138.18.

In addition, there is this change, to be brought in by the end of 2014:

Managing sickness absence. A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced, offering fee occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. The service can provide an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence.

To keep your business fully updated, why not book your place on our workshop? The cost is just £10 +VAT, so to reserve your seat, just click here to book online.

How Do You Manage Absence in Your Business?

How Do You Manage Absence in Your Business?

The cost of absence to your business could be huge. While it’s not always avoidable, you can reduce the cost and impact by managing it effectively. Here are some of the things you need to do:

Monitor it: You won’t have an idea of the problem if you don’t keep a record of the days and dates of absence. You need to know the frequency or length of absence to decide on the next steps.

Reporting absence: You must have rules about reporting absence and you must make sure these are followed.  If you don’t do this everyone will ignore them because they can.

Discuss the problem with your employee: There’s a legal requirement to consult with employees. They need your support and you need to know how to plan their work while they are away and make arrangements for their return.

Getting the payments right: Check the contract of employment to make sure you make the correct payments. As a minimum, employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay and they may also be entitled to be paid for holidays.

Return to work interview: These are key tool in deterring absence and making sure that you know what’s going on with your staff. They’re a great opportunity to nip problems in the bud.

Keeping in touch: Contact is vital if an employee is away for a long period. It helps you to provide support to them and at the same time understand how the situation may develop so that you can plan your business.

Phased return to work: This may be required after a long illness and may be suggested by the GP in a fit note.  You should consider these suggestions and discuss them with the employee before you make a decision.

What if you need to dismiss a member of staff due to long term absence? What are the benefits of managing absence? You can find out more from our free fact sheet – download it here.