Holges Consulting

HR and Health & Safety Policies and Advice: Helping to take the headache out of compliance and
improving Your Company for growth and development..

Stay informed: Recent News on Holges Consulting and HR and Health & Safety Policy

Here you will find the latest information on our company and any related business issues.

8th March 2013 - Parental Leave Entitlement per Child Raised

From 8th March 2013 onwards eligible employees will be entitled to the right of taking up to 18 weeks total unpaid leave to spend time with their child before they are 5years old (18 years old if they are disabled). Before 8th March 2013 the entitlement was only 13 weeks per child (18 weeks for children with disabilities).
Is your company up-to-date and prepared for employees wishing to take leave to care for a new child? (blog)
Need more information? Pass us your email so that we can send you a link to our employee-parents leave employers' guides here.

1st February 2013 - New tribunal award limits

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2012 increased the limits applying to certain employment tribunal rewards (and other amounts payable under employment legislation) given for events occurring after 1st Feb 2013. Events from before 1st Feb 2013 leading to tribunal rewards are limited by the previously in force Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2011.

  • Maximum Employment Tribal Award for Unfair Dismissal was raised from £72,300 to £74,200
  • Payment to an employee for calculating basic and various additional Employment Tribunal awards
    • In respect of any single day's pay (before £23.50, after £24.20)
    • In respect of a week's pay (before £430, after £450)

For more Changes in Employment Tribunal Awards and for more for January to March see our factsheet: New HR Legislation January-March 2013

January 2013 - Government proposes to help decrease employees falling onto long-term sickness benefits 2014

In response to the Health at Work review the government proposes to:

  • Introduce a state-funded health and work assessment and advisory service delivering occupational health assessment for employees after four weeks sick leave, providing employers and employees with advice on overcoming the barriers that prevent return to work and providing case management for employees requiring ongoing support
  • Revise fit note guidance emphasising importance of assessing health conditions in relation to work in general (not just one role)
  • Decide in the 2013 Budget if tax relief will be given for employers spending on medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation to keep sick employees in work (current tax relief on Employee Assistance Programmes will be retained, although the Percentage Threshold Scheme, compensating smaller employers for high rates of sickness absence, will be abolished)
  • Abolish Statutory Sick Pay record keeping rules so that companies can hold their records in a way most suitable for their company needs
  • Signpost employees that will not return to their employer after long-term sickness to Universal Jobmatch, a free internet job-matching service to find new work rather than falling into long-term sick benefits

Read the full government response to the Health at Work Review here.

1st January-5th April 2013 - Change in awarding bodies allowed by HSE for First Aid at Work Training

Due to an HSE approval update, until 5th April 2013, First Aid at Work qualifications accepted by HSE for compliance with Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 can be awarded by Awarding organisations regulated by:

  • Ofqual
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
  • Welsh Government Department for Education and Skills (DfES Wales)

New legislation/arrangements will be made for 5th April onwards.

January-March 2013 - New Legislation Dates to add to your HR calendars

Legislation coming into force Jan-March 2013 effects most walks of the HR profession: New percentages for pension revaluation; Apprentice Minimum Wage enforced for employees under Apprenticeship Agreement ; New tribunal award limits; Unpaid parental leave increase; The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill amends the provisions of the Equal Opportunities Act 2010 ; DBS Checks (formerly CRB checks) become portable - and more! Make sure you are up to date with the latest legislation changes - check out our factsheet HR: New Legislation Overview for Jan-March 2013 for more detail.

Novemeber 2012 - Consultation on new Employee Status - 'Employee Owner' ends 8th November

In a bid to increase business growth, the new optional status of 'employee owner' is proposed to be added to the list of employment statuses such as employee, worker etc. Under this new status an employee would be given between £2k-50k in capital-gains-tax-free shares of the company as a trade off for receiving less employment rights than someone contracted as an 'employee'. Read more detail here | Have your say on the consultation here

October 2012 - 'Landmark Ruling' 24th October for Equal Pay claims

Previously, equal pay claims could only be made through employment tribunal, and only up until six months after the end of employment with the company being claimed against. A Supreme Court decision means that equal pay claims can now be made through the civil courts, up to six years after the end of employment with the company that the claim is against. Check out our factsheet on providing equal opportunities at work, including providing equal pay and avoiding employment policies descriminating against protected characteristics.

October 2012 - 'Red Tape' regulations changed 1st October

A number of widespread legislation changes were made 1st October to 'aid' small businesses as part of the red tape challenge. Changes cover small music events licensing, company accounts audits and rules, no smoking signs legislation, motorist clamping rules, money laundering regulations and intellectual property (IP) claims rights. Business Minister Michael Fallon claims: "But this is just the start - we've set ourselves the challenging target of scrapping or reducing a total of 3,000 regulations." So watch out for more to come!

October 2012 - Change of national minimum wage rates

National minimum wage increases are coming October 2012 for workers 21 years old and over and for apprentices. For 21 year olds and over the minimum wage will now be £6.19ph (up by 11p) and for apprentices the minimum wage will now be £2.65ph (up by 5p). Note that there is no change for the minimum rates for 16-17/18-20 year olds which are still £3.68ph and £4.98ph respectively. Don't get caught out! To read more about minimum wages check out the hmrc page

June 2012 - New PAT guidance available!

HSE revealed in May an estimate that office-based-businesses are wasting £30million a year on unnecessary PAT testing! New guidelines have now been released by HSE to help these businesses to maintain their portable appliances more cost effectively. For a quick overview see our factsheet - H&S: Low risk environments: To PAT or oPAC?.

April 2012 - What changed in April 2012?

Employment Tribunal procedure reformed, Qualifying period for Unfair Dismissal increased to 2 years, Statutory payments Increased, RIDDOR 3 day reporting increased to 7 days, Pension Auto enrolment new rules coming Oct 2012, check your staging dates now. For more detail check out our factsheet.

October 2011 - Agency Workers Regulations 2010

The Agency Worker Regulations came into force on 1st October 2011. The regulations give agency workers the entitlement to the same or no less favourable treatment as comparable employees with respect to basic employment and working conditions, if and when they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in a particular job. For full details see ACAS

July 2011 - New ACAS Guide -The People Factor

Maintaining good staff within a productive environment is an important factor in business. A new Acas guide - "The People Factor: engage your employees for business success" - shows you how you can get the most out of your staff. To download the publication go to ACAS

July 2011 - HSE - Redtape Challenge

Feel like Health and Safety is all pointless legislation and stopping people getting on with their jobs? Have your chance to say on what laws need to be scrapped and help put the common sence back into Safety. For your chance to take the challenge go to HSE

July 2011 - Social Media Policies

With the upsurge in Facebook, Twitter etc, daily use of social media is becoming commonplace. Does your Company have a policy in place to make it clear about the use of this and other electronic communications. See ACAS for further advice, or contact us to look at putting a suitable policy in place.

28th June 2011 - HSE Statistics - Fatal Injuries Increase

With the upsurge in Facebook, Twitter etc, daily use of social media is becoming commonplace. Does your Company have a policy in place to make it clear about the use of this and other electronic communications. See ACAS for further advice, or contact us to look at putting a suitable policy in place.

10 June 2011 - Holges Consulting Website Launched

With the upsurge in Facebook, Twitter etc, daily use of social media is becoming commonplace. Does your Company have a policy in place to make it clear about the use of this and other electronic communications. See ACAS for further advice, or contact us to look at putting a suitable policy in place.

6th April 2011 - Default Retirement Age (DRA) changed

With the upsurge in Facebook, Twitter etc, daily use of social media is becoming commonplace. Does your Company have a policy in place to make it clear about the use of this and other electronic communications. See ACAS for further advice, or contact us to look at putting a suitable policy in place.

© Holges Consulting
8 Convent Road, BROADSTAIRS Kent. CT10 3BE
Email: info@holgesconsulting.co.uk

Created by: Anne-Marie Mumford
Author: Amanda Holges
Tel: 01843 260704