Web Legal Update
Pension auto enrolment introduced (1 October 2012)
Starting from October 2012, up to 11 million workers will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. Larger employers will go first, with small and medium sized employers following over the next six years.
Employers will automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension who:
- are not already in a qualifying pension scheme
- are aged 22 or over
- are under State Pension age
- earn more than Â£9,440 a year (this figure is reviewed every year), and work or usually work in the UK.
For more details on the workplace pension regulations please visit www.gov.uk/workplacepensions
Unfair dismissal awards (July 2013)
The Unfair Dismissal (Variation of the Limit of Compensatory Award) Order 2013 has now been laid before parliament and is expected to come into force sometime in July (no exact date has been confirmed) and will apply to all dismissals occurring after that date. The maximum award after that date will be the lower of Â£74,200 or 52 weeksâ€™ pay. So, an employee earning Â£20,000 will only be able to claim a maximum of Â£20,000 for unfair dismissal not the upper limit of Â£74,200.http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2013/9780111540183
National minimum wage increases to Â£6.31 per hour (1 October 2013)
The main rate of the national minimum wage rises from Â£6.19 to Â£6.31 per hour. The youth rate increases from Â£4.98 to Â£5.03 per hour and the rate for workers aged 16 to 17 increases from Â£3.68 to Â£3.72 per hour. The apprentice rate increases from Â£2.65 to Â£2.68 per hour, and the accommodation offset increases from Â£4.82 to Â£4.91 per day. The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2013 can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Periods after which convictions become spent reduced (To be confirmed)
The Government proposes to reduce the period of time after completing their sentence that some offenders are required to declare their conviction to prospective employers. However, the new rehabilitation periods will start from the point an offender completes his or her sentence, rather than at the date of conviction. TheLegal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 can be viewed on the UK legislation website.
Income tax personal allowance increased (April 2014)
The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) an increase in the income tax personal allowance to Â£10,000.
Employment allowance introduced (April 2014)
The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in Budget 2013 (on the HM Treasury website) that all businesses, including charities, are entitled to receive an employment allowance of Â£2,000 per annum towards their employer national insurance contributions bill.
Flexible working for all employees (Spring 2014)
The Children and Families Bill extends the right to request flexible working to all employees. Currently, the right applies to employees who have children under the age of 17 (18 if a child is disabled) or who are carers. The statutory flexible working procedure for considering requests is replaced with a duty on employers to deal with requests in a reasonable manner, and a statutory code of practice is introduced to give guidance as to the meaning of “reasonable”. The Children and Families Bill can be viewed on the UK Parliament website.