The law is always changing around people issues. To help you keep up to date, here are a few of the recent and forthcoming changes that you need to be aware of.
1. Statutory benefit increases – standard rates for statutory maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay will increase with effect from 7 April 2013 to £136.78. Statutory sick pay will increase with effect from 6 April 2013 to £86.70.
2. Compensation limits – annual rises for compensation limits have been announced for all dismissals which take effect from 1 February 2013. The cap on a week’s pay rises to £450 and the maximum unfair dismissal basic award rises to £13,500. The maximum compensatory award rises to £74,200.
3. Sickness benefits – from December 2012, people on sickness benefits are being offered work experience to help them back into a job. Short periods of work experience at an appropriate employer will help people with limited employment history get a flavour of the workplace environment, gain new skills and boost their confidence. People who fail to carry out any agreed work related activity without good reason may face sanctions.
4. Fuel rates and car allowances – HMRC has published new advisory fuel rates for company cars with effect from 1 December 2012. The rates are to be used only where employers either reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars, or require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel. The next review will be 1 March 2013.
5. Criminal record checks – the Home Office has announced a new service whereby employees and volunteers requiring criminal records checks will be able to make one application and have access to an online certificate check rather than have to make new applications for each job they apply for. The service will be free for volunteers. The new system will be launched by the disclosure and barring services on 1 March 2013.
If you need to know more about any of these changes and how they affect your particular business, leave a comment here, email me your question or pick up the phone and we can talk about it.