Archive for the ‘Pay & Benefits’ Category

Public sector workers back mass strike over pensions. Up to 750,000 public sector workers will hold a co-ordinated strike later this month after members of a third major union backed industrial action. The TUC and Unison are likely to hold ballots and expect it to become a major dispute with long term industrial action accross our public services.

The strikes are in protest at proposed changes to public sector pensions. Dave Prentis of Unison said there had been hardly any real progress and he thought his members would vote for strike action if a ballot was called

In order to try to reduce the rising cost of public sector pensions, the government is seeking a 3% increase in employee pension contributions, which amounts to a doubling for many public sector staff.

Unions say that plans under discussion also include reducing pension benefits and expecting staff to work for longer.

But the government said public sector workers would continue to get a guaranteed pension level – something, it said, “very few private sector employers still offer”.

More from the BBC.

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New advisory fuel rates apply to all journeys on or after 1st June 2011. For one month, employers may use either the previous or new current rates, as they choose. Employers may therefore make or require supplementary payments if they so wish, but are under no obligation to do either.

The previous “advisory fuel rates” for company cars were set to apply from 1st March 2011 (eg 13p per mile for a petrol engined car of 1400 cc or less up to 21p per mile for a petrol engined car of 2000 cc or more).

The rates are now increased further, from 1st June 2011 (eg 15p per mile for a petrol engined car of 1400 cc or less up to 26p per mile for a petrol engined car of 2000 cc or more).

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The Code of Practice on Workforce Matters in Local Authority Service Contracts has been withdrawn according to the Communities & Local Government Department.

The Code was introduced in 2003 and applied to TUPE staff transfers in England and Wales where they involved local authority service contracts. The Code ensured that employees who joined the dedicated team after the transfer were not disadvantaged.

The idea was that this redressed the two tier worforce that had started to emerge as a result of employees being hired in on less favourable terms and conditions after a transfer. These employees joined the transferee organisation and sat along side team members who were on better terms and conditions because they were protected by TUPE Regulations.

But in any case this isn’t unusual because transferring employees often join new teams that are subject to less favourable terms and there is no obligation to ‘improve’ those terms in line with the new joiners!

Caution: This decision is not retrospective, so if your service contract is already covered by the Code it will continue to be so.

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UK government has confirmed national minimum wage increases as follows from 1st October 2011. The adult NMW will increase by 15p an hour to £6.08; 18-20 year olds NMW will increase by 6p to £4.98 per hour; 16-17 year olds NMW will increase by 4p to £3.68 per hour and apprentices will increase by 10p to £2.60 per hour.

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From 6 April 2011, the new Income Tax (Pay as You Earn) Regulations 2011 come into force affecting the calculation of payments made after the issue of a P45 which are currently based on basic rate tax. The change means that the employer will be required to apply the the 0T tax code through PAYE on a “non-cumulative” basis and will be liable to HMRC for any discrepancy. More about tax code 0T at HMRC.

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Breaking News: The Bribery Act 2010 will finally become law on 1st July 2011 and creates a new offence under section 7 which can be committed by commercial organisations which fail to prevent persons associated with them from bribing another person on their behalf.

An organisation that can prove it has adequate procedures in place to prevent persons associated with it from bribing will have a defence to the section 7 offence.

The guidance, published here under section 9 of the Act, will help commercial organisations of all sizes and sectors understand what sorts of procedures they can put in place to prevent bribery, as mentioned in section 7.

A quick start guide has also been published which sets out the key points.

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The draft regulations have been published and as predicted, it looks as though it will be possible to provide insurance benefits to the under 65s but not the over 65s even though on the face of it such a policy would seem ‘ageist’.  Further updates on the effects of the end of DRA will be published as they emerge.

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