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Monthly Archives

November 2017

Over three million unpaid carers in the UK are in paid employment

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The Work and Pensions Committee has called for evidence from carers and employers about the realities of juggling caring duties with paid employment. Currently, over three million unpaid carers in the UK are in paid employment. The Committee wants to hear from carers and their employers about their experiences in trying to balance caring duties with paid employment, and the kinds of practical help that can be provided to get, and keep, people in the paid work they want, while crucially ensuring their friends, relatives, and loved ones can continue to receive the best possible care.

To Participate you will need to enter a written submission via:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/support-carers-inquiry-17-19/commons-written-submission-form/

 

** The deadline for submissions is Friday 22 December 2017 **

Changes to ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ statutory guidance

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Summary

We invite views on changes to the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children, new child death review guidance and new regulations.

Consultation description

We are seeking views on:

  • significant revisions to Working Together to Safeguard Children, the statutory guidance on what’s expected of organisations to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • 2 sets of statutory instruments (regulations) needed to support the new arrangements
  • new child death review guidance

These revisions reflect the legislative changes introduced through the Children and Social Work Act 2017. Following this consultation, the government proposes to update and replace the current statutory guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

To participate:

https://consult.education.gov.uk/child-protection-safeguarding-and-family-law/working-together-to-safeguard-children-revisions-t/

** This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 31 December 2017**

 

Government agrees to update the Freedom of Information Code of Practice

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Summary

This consultation seeks views on the revised Freedom of Information Code of Practice.

Consultation description

In response to the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information’s report, the government agreed to update the Code of Practice issued under Section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act, to ensure the range of issues on which guidance can be offered to public authorities under the Code of Practice is sufficient and up to date.
The government now seeks views about this revised Code, particularly the areas highlighted in the consultation document.

To participate:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revised-freedom-of-information-code-of-practice

**This consultation closes at 5pm on 2 February 2018**

Update to employer’s Income Tax and National Insurance in the UK

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3.8 Employment status discussion paper – The government will publish a discussion paper as part of the response to Matthew Taylor’s review of employment practices in the modern economy, exploring the case and options for longer-term reform to make the employment status tests for both employment rights and tax clearer. The government recognises that this is an important and complex issue, and so will work with stakeholders to ensure that any potential changes are considered carefully.

 

3.13 Benefits in kind: electric vehicles – From April 2018, there will be no benefit in kind charge on electricity that employers provide to charge employees’ electric vehicles.

 

3.14 Taxation of employee business expenses – Following the call for evidence published in March 2017, the government will make several changes to the taxation of employee expenses:

•             Self-funded training – The government will consult in 2018 on extending the scope of tax relief currently available to employees and the self-employed for work-related training costs.

•             Subsistence benchmark scale rates – To reduce the burden on employers, from April 2019, they will no longer be required to check receipts when reimbursing employees for subsistence using benchmark scale rates. The existing concessionary accommodation and subsistence overseas scale rates will be placed on a statutory basis, to provide greater certainty for businesses.

•             Guidance and claims process for employee expenses – HMRC will work with external stakeholders to improve the guidance on employee expenses, particularly on travel and subsistence and the process for claiming tax relief on non-reimbursed employment expenses.

New important guidance on sexual harassment at work

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With the media’s attention turned towards high profile sexual harassment cases globally ACAS has developed new guidance on sexual harassment http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6078

Please ensure you familiarise yourself with the definitions and responsibilities you have as an employer.  Should you observe or be aware of issues, even if these are not formally bought to your attention, you will be required to act.  If in doubt, please speak to your advisor.

Are you eligible to work in the UK?

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All clients are advised to be clear on eligibility to work in the UK criteria. Use the link below to check if a potential employee can work in the UK, https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk

Checking the legitimacy of documents and evidencing that you made the correct checks are crucial in protecting yourself as a company director and protecting your business. The director of an Indian restaurant in Frome has been banned from being a company director and also received a fine for having three employees in his establishment without eligibility to work in the UK.  Two Café India Directors, were disqualified from being Directors for 6 years after four illegal workers were found to be working in the eatery.  A fine of £40,000 was also imposed.  As employing those without eligibility to work in the UK can be classed as a civil or criminal offence dependent upon the circumstances, a custodial sentence may also be applied. 

The Insolvency Service has said it has recently issued lengthy bans to 20 directors in 16 separate businesses across the UK for employing illegal workers, including 11 restaurants, four takeaways and a shop.  If in doubt regarding legitimacy of documents or what should be retained and evidenced, you are advised to make direct contact with the UK Visas and Immigration: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration

Supermarket fail to outline health and safety regulations

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An employment tribunal has ruled that a supermarket who failed to outline the consequences of breaching rules, has lost a case for unfair dismissal, the judge ruled that the company had focused on the assumption that the actions would be repeated, and failed to outline that wearing headphones in the delivery yard was against health and safety regulations nor did it inform staff of the consequences of wearing them.

The national minimum wage will increase from April 2018

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Following the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission, the government will increase the national minimum wage from April 2018 to the following rates:

 

Apprentices: from £3.50 to £3.70 an hour;

16-17 year olds: £4.05 to £4.20 an hour;

18-20 year olds: £5.60 to £5.90 an hour;

21-24 year olds: £7.05 to £7.38 an hour. 

 

The national living wage for those aged 25 and over will also increase from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 an hour from April 2018 (this will give a full-time worker an annual £600 pay increase)