Those with “Exceptional Talent” are being sought by tech companies and permitted to work in the UK via Tier 1 “Tech Nation” Visas. Initially introduced in 2014, the rules were relaxed in 2015 to make the process more succinct and effective. Although the criteria remain strict, it is looking likely that up to 200 visa applications will be granted up to April 2017. Criteria include being or having potential to be a world leader in digital technology, or being internationally recognised for digital achievements. Is this a need for your business? For more information visit Tech Nation: http://www.techcityuk.com/tech-nation-visa/ Whatever you do, make sure you don’t find yourself falling foul of employing those not permitted to work in the UK as consequences are high and the media spotlight is hot!
Early February and Facebooks Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced a revised company policy of 20 days paid bereavement leave. Although it is doubtful that smaller businesses/public sector could sustain such a staggeringly generous term, the considerations of mental health, work life balance and productivity during times of loss need to be carefully considered. When deciding on appropriate/paid vs unpaid/discretionary allocation be sure to track your decisions so you can self-assess for fairness and consistency.
If you will need apprentices, if you have apprentices and will be paying the levy, then have your say on how the apprenticeship standards can be improved: The Institute for Apprenticeships will launch in April 2017 as a new independent body to drive the quality of apprenticeship standards in England and want you to have your say: https://consult.education.gov.uk/comms-and-stakeholder-engagement/institute-for-apprenticeships-operational-plan/
Consultation closes on 27 Feb 2017
Connected to The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 London’s night tube drivers are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pay and jobs. Internal policy restricting night drivers from applying for full time positions for a period of 18 months appears to directly contravene the part-time Regs, a move which the Rai, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union claims is discriminatory as all other worker and employees may apply for the full-time roles.
A 45 year old employee with 15 years’ service was sacked for “stealing” an egg and bacon sandwich but after an appeal reinstated. The person serving in the canteen claimed not to have heard Aldren Thompson request to pay for his dinner at a later date as he had left his wallet at home. The original decision was highlighted when Aldren contacted Vanessa Feltz on her BBC breakfast show. A little bit of media attention that King George Hospital London could no doubt have done without!
As MPs call for an end to unpaid internships we ask clients to get in contact for advice. Argument suggests an inequality and a system which allows “privileged young people” to undertake extended unpaid internships getting a foot in the door of their chosen industry whilst leaving the less privileged out in the cold.
High street retailer Debenhams has been “named and shamed” as the worst offender in the Government’s biggest ever list of companies that have paid their staff below the national minimum and living wage. The department store chain has been found to have failed to pay £134,894.83 to some 11,858 workers in a move that will heighten tensions around retailers and the rising costs of the living wage.
As many as 37,000 Argos workers are to receive back-pay of £64 each, after the company failed to pay them the National Living Wage (NLW).
Sainsbury’s, which owns the company, admitted that staff had not been paid for attending briefings before their shifts started.
They were also required to undergo security searches after clocking off.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a list of employers failing to pay the national minimum wage (NMW). The list names 359 employers who between them underpaid 15,513 workers to the tune of £994,685. The associated penalties amounted to approximately £800,000. Companies such as Debenhams and Subway feature in the list.