Category Archives: News

Increases to Statutory payments 2019

From 6th April 2019  Statutory Redundancy rate will increase from £508 per week to £525 per week

From 6th April 2019 Statutory Sick Pay rate will increase from £92.05 per week to £94.25 per week

From 7th April 2019 all Family Related Pay (Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental & Adoption) will increase from £145.18 per week to £148.68 per week

National Minimum Wage 1st April 2019

There will be increases to the National Minimum wage rates including the National Living Wage.

Workers aged 25 and over will rise from £7.83ph to £8.21ph
Workers aged 21 to 24 will rise from £7.38ph to £7.70ph
Workers aged 18 to 20 will rise from £5.90ph to £6.15ph
Workers under 18 will rise from £4.20ph to £4.35ph
Apprentice rate will rise from £3.70ph to £3.90ph

Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Act introduces a requirement for businesses over a certain size to publish an annual statement setting out the steps taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in their organisation or associated supply chains.

The Act consolidates existing offences relating to trafficking and slavery.

It obliges businesses which supply goods or services in the UK (with an annual turnover of more than £36 million) to publicly state each year the action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are slavery free. Turnover includes the turnover of any subsidiary business.

The annual statement must be published on the organisations website, and a link to it must be prominently placed on the homepage. (6 months after end of year accounts).

Non-compliance and enforcement – Secretary of State may enforce duty to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement through civil proceedings.
The view is to name and shame companies which to do not comply.
More information and guidance can be found at

National Minimum Wage – unintentional breach

Recent headlines regarding Monsoon Accessorize where they unintentionally failed to ensure their staff were paid the NMW. highlights a risk that more employers could find themselves in a similar position.
Monsoon Accessorize have been forced to reimburse staff pay and have been fined £28,147.81
The Company are currently working with HMRC and reviewing its payroll processes in order to rectify the breach of pay regulations.

The case: Monsoon requires their staff to wear Monsoon clothes on duty, employees were previously required to purchase clothing but received these at a discounted rate out of their wages, but the compulsory expense meant that many staff were taking home less than the legally required minimum wage.

Foot Locker and French Connection have both failed to pay the minimum wage for the same reason.

It is important that employee benefits are not counted towards a workers average salary.
The strict legal obligation is to ensure that an employee’s average salary over a pay reference period (the interval in which they are paid) does not fall below the minimum. That figure must be calculated after a number of specified deductions and there is a list of items which by law cannot count towards the NMW, these include overtime rates, expenses, allowances, vouchers, loan and wage advances and any other benefit in kind (other than accommodation).

If you offer any additional payments or benefits you need to ensure that you are paying at least the NMW, after appropriate deductions have been made from the calculation.

Sports Direct CEO to face criminal charges over warehouse staff redundancies

Breaking news ………

CEO (David Michael Forsey) has stepped down from his post just days before he was due to face criminal charges over the mishandling of staff redundancies.
On Friday 9th October 2015, the insolvency Service announced that Forsey had been charged after failing to inform authorities of plans to lay off staff from the Dundonald warehouse in Scotland. The redundancies were made in relation to the controversial pre-pack administration of wholly-owned fashion chain West Coast Capitial (USC), in January this year.
Around 200 workers at the USC site were given just 15 minutes notice by administrators that they would be losing their jobs, before the company was shut down.
Under employment law this number of workers should be given a minimum period of 30 days consultation before losing their jobs.
A statement from the Insolvency Service read: “We can confirm that criminal proceedings have been commenced against Forsey. He is charged with an offence contrary to section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation)Act 1992.” “The investigation into the conduct of the directors is ongoing”.
This is thought to be the first time a FTSE100 chief has been charged under the Trade Union Act. If found guilty. Forsey could be fined up to £5,000 and banned from holding directorship for up to 15 years.


Shared (Grand) Parental Leave. George Osborne announces that working grandparents will be able to share parental leave in the future

Today (5th October 2015), the Chancellor has announced that he will extend shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents. Note it will only affects working grandparents (non-working grandparents aren’t likely to meet the eligibility criteria).

The planned changes will increase flexibility and choice in parental leave arrangements and support working parents with the costs of childcare during the first year of a child’s life.

The government will bring forward legislation to enable this change, with the aim of implementing the policy by 2018.

The government will consult on the details in the first half of 2016.

For more details please see website

Mother dismissed over absenteeism suffered sex discrimination

In Van Heeswyk v One Call Insurance Services Ltd, the GMB union represented a woman who was dismissed after she requested time off to spend with her baby daughter and her husband during his leave from service in Afghanistan.

According to the GMB, shortly after Van Heeswyk’s request, she was invited to a disciplinary hearing for alleged “persistent absenteeism” and “unsatisfactory standards or output of work”, despite her exemplary record and no previous warnings.

She was later dismissed without notice for gross misconduct, even though her absenteeism was linked to her daughter’s hospital visits.

The GMB supported her successful employment tribunal claims, including sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The tribunal described the company’s procedure as “cynical” and its treatment of the claimant as “unsympathetic”. The tribunal found that the company was “scrapping the barrel” to find reasons to dismiss her.

This recent case highlights again the need to ensure that you follow an absence procedure which is fair to all employees and the need to consider all factors before holding a disciplinary hearing.

Breaking news!! National Living Wage April 2016

Prime Minster David Cameron has kicked off the autumn political season with a pledge to crack down on employers who fail to pay the National Living Wage (NLW).    Stating that the fines for non-payment will double, hitting employers with a penalty worth 200 per cent of unpaid wages, up to a maximum of £20,000 per underpaid worker. HMRC will investigate the most serious cases of employers not paying the National Minimum Wage  (NMW) and NLW when it is introduced in April 2016.

Employers that fail face disqualification as company directors for up to 15 years.  So it is imperative that companies get it right.

The NLW will replace the existing NMW for all workers aged 25 and over with effect from next April 2016.  For this age group the current NMW is £6.50 per hour, this will rise to £6.70 per hour from 1st October 2015 and will be replaced with NLW and a new rate of £7.20 per hour in April 2016.  This rate is expected to rise further to more than £9.00 per hour by 2020.

Employers will need to consider their approach and any measures carefully.

For help and support please contact Wendy at Einon HR

Gross misconduct dismissal unfair for employee with 34 years clean record

In a recent case Newbound v Thames Water Utilities, the court of Appeal looked at whether an employee, who had his employment terminated for gross misconduct after a serious breach of health and safety rules, had been unfairly dismissed.
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, misconduct is a potentially fair reason for dismissal; however, whether a misconduct dismissal is fair or unfair depends on an assessment by an employment tribunal of whether the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably in treating the misconduct as a sufficient reason for dismissal. Case law has established a ‘band of reasonable responses’ test used in answering this question.
Newbound was an experienced sewer worker who had been employed by Thames water for 34 years. He was summarily dismissed, following an investigation into an incident in which he had gone into a sewer to conduct an annual inspection without wearing breathing apparatus. This was in contravention of safety requirements involving a newly introduced ‘safe system of work’ form used by Thames Water for complex activities not covered by the usual risk assessment. The form stated that breathing apparatus had to be used and this had been made clear to Newbound by his Manager.
The employee in charge of sewer entry, who allowed Newbound to enter without breathing apparatus, was given a written warning but was not dismissed.
The court of Appeal agreed with the tribunal that the dismissal would in any event have been unfair because of the disparity of treatment between Newbound and his colleague. Unlike Newbound his colleague was interviewed prior to the disciplinary hearings and was subsequently charged with misconduct, not gross misconduct, which meant that under the employers disciplinary procedures he could not be dismissed.

This is a reminder that, while in many cases an employer will have the right to decide how best to deal with a serious breach of health and safety discipline, the particular circumstances leading up to an incident will always need to be considered. The Court of Appeal’s endorsement of the continuing relevance of an employee’s length of service is also significant.

It is advisable that any new health and safety procedures should be introduced with the backing of comprehensive communication and the necessary training to all individual employees.

For more advice please contact Einon HR 0776 494 8898

News: Collective Redundancies – when does duty to consult arise?

The EAT has held that an obligation to collectively consult about proposed redundancies is triggered when an employer makes a provisional decision to close its workplace, even if the final decision is not made until later.

The implications of this ruling means that employers have a duty to collectively consult before a final decision has been made to make employees redundant. If the employer has provisionally decided to close or restructure the whole or part of its business, then they need to start a collective consultation process (even if alternatives are still being considered) where they are proposing to dismiss 20 or more employees.

It is therefore important for employers to be aware of any management discussions surrounding changes to the business, as if there are clear plans to close or restructure the business, as if certain targets are not met in the future then this can be enough to trigger the duty to collectively consult, even if the final decision has not been made.