Brexit: Implications & Considerations for UK Employers

The Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and with a UK-EU trade deal having been agreed just days ago, we look at the implications and considerations of Brexit for UK employers.

Brexit: Implications & Considerations for UK Employers

The United Kingdom officially left the EU on 31 January 2020 and the transition period, during which time the UK was treated for most purposes as if it were still an EU member state and most EU law continued to apply to the UK, ends on 31 December 2020 with a UK-EU trade deal having been agreed just days before the end of the transition period.

How Will UK Employment Law be Affected by Brexit?

It is the case that significant proportion of the UK’s employment law comes from the EU, including discrimination rights, collective consultation obligations, transfer of undertakings regulations, family leave, working time regulations and duties to agency workers. 

In fact, some EU employment laws merely incorporated protections that were already provided by UK law. For example, UK equal pay, race and disability discrimination laws preceded EU anti-discrimination obligations. Similarly, there was a UK right of return from maternity leave before EU maternity leave rights were implemented. 

EU employment law has been incorporated into UK law in a variety of ways.  Some laws are secondary legislation introduced by a government minister under powers granted by the ECA 1972.  Other laws are primary legislation (for example the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010)) and will remain in force until repealed. 

Most EU-derived employment legislation will remain applicable in the UK immediately after the end of the transition period but on a different constitutional basis, for an indefinite period, unless and until altered by the appropriate UK legislative body.

Employers’ Obligation to Prevent Illegal Working in a Post-Brexit UK

It has always been unlawful to employ someone who does not have the right to reside and the appropriate right to work in the UK, or someone who is working in breach of their conditions of stay.  Failure to identify those migrants who require immigration permission to live and work in the UK and to undertake the prescribed and ongoing “right to work” checks can result in severe criminal and civil penalties.

The maximum fine is £20,000 for each illegal worker (this increased from £10,000 on 16 May 2014). On 12 July 2016, the maximum prison sentence increased from two to five years and the scope of the offence extended from “knowingly” employing an illegal migrant to “has reasonable cause to believe” the person is employed illegally.

Right to Work Checks

Employers are required to conduct specified right to work checks on all prospective employees, including British citizens and EU nationals. The checks provide a statutory excuse for the employer if the employment is subsequently found to be unlawful. Employers must conduct the checks in a way that is not discriminatory.  To comply with their obligation to prevent illegal working, an Employer must:

  • Carry out “right to work” checks on all prospective employees before the employment starts.
  • Conduct follow-up checks on employees who have a time-limited permission to live and work in the UK or require a document to evidence their right as in the case of non-EEA family members of EEA or Swiss nationals, or an application pending.
  • Keep records of all the checks carried out.
  • Not employ anyone it knows or has reasonable cause to believe is an illegal worker.
  • Where the employer is also a sponsor under the points-based system, it must also comply with the sponsor management system requirements.

The most common examples of people who do not require permission to work in the UK (though may still require a visa) are:

1) British citizens. However, British Dependent Territories citizens, British nationals (overseas) and British overseas citizens do require permission to work in the UK. Employers must be careful as these passports look like British passports but may not contain the right to live and work in the UK. 

2) Those who have the right of abode in the UK (which gives the right to live and work in the UK permanently, without any immigration restrictions).

3) Those who have indefinite leave to remain in the UK (also known as “settlement” or “permanent residence”).

4) EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals residing in the UK before 1 January 2021. They can apply for immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme allowing them to remain in the UK.  Applications under the EU Settlement Scheme must be submitted by 30 June 2020.   Successful applicants will receive a letter by email confirming their settled or pre-settled status. This will not, of itself, prove an individual’s status and those granted settled or pre-settled status will be able to prove their status online (View and prove your immigration status).

5) Non-EEA family members of EEA and Swiss nationals and those with a retained or derivative right of residence who can produce a UK residence document to prove their status in the UK. Applications for settled or pre-settled status, save for in a few cases, need to be submitted by 30 June 2021.

6) Persons granted refugee status or humanitarian protection.

7) Some asylum claimants. Normally asylum claimants are not permitted to work, but some may be issued with an Application Registration Card that confirms certain employment is permitted. 

8) Some overseas students can work part-time during term time and full-time during holidays.

In addition, dependants who are successful in their application to accompany or join a migrant who has been granted permission to come to the UK for longer than six months will usually be given a general permission to work.

Unless listed above, an individual is likely to need specific immigration permission to work in the UK under the Skilled Worker route or one of the other work-related categories.

EU citizens residing in the UK before 1 January 2021 can apply for immigration status allowing them to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. Applications must be submitted by 30 June 2021. EU citizens who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years or more at the date of their application will qualify for settled status, while those with fewer than five years will qualify to apply for pre-settled status (which should lead eventually to settled status).

Changes to Right to Work Checks for EU Citizens 

It is important to note that from 30 June 2021, the ‘right to work checks’ Employers must undertake will change.  Set out below are the current and future requirements.

Until 30 June 2021

Employers of EU citizens will be able to rely on the EEA passport or ID card to confirm the person’s right to work in the UK until 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, employers will no longer be able to accept an EEA or Swiss passport alone as evidence of a permanent right to work in the UK for new employees. They will need to see proof of immigration status which will be either under the EU Settlement Scheme or the new immigration system.

Holders of settled and pre-settled status

Holders of settled and pre-settled status will not get a paper document to prove their right to work in the UK (except that non-EU nationals will continue to hold BRCs to facilitate their travel to the UK). Instead, their immigration status will be recorded electronically and will be accessible as soon as a decision has been made on their application. The online profile can then be used to prove their right to work in the UK to employers.

The migrant’s online profile can be accessed by entering the number of the identity document used in their application for settled or pre-settled status and their date of birth. A single-use code will then be sent to the migrant’s mobile phone number or email address that they provided in their application which they will need to enter online to access their profile. Migrant’s will not need a username or password to view their profile.

Migrants will be able to go their online profile to:

  • View their status.
  • Update their details if their contact details or identity document changes.

Support for Employers

HMRC guidance on helping businesses and individuals get ready for Brexit can be found here.
If you are an Employer and require advice and support on any employment matters arising post-Brexit and/or how to prepare, call us now on 0800 612 4772 or Contact us via our website and we will set out clear guidance to assist you to comply with your legal obligations.

Employment Law Review – What Changed in 2020 & What to Expect in 2021

As this remarkable year draws to an end, we look back at the various changes to UK employment law during 2020 and look forward to the changes to UK employment law we can expect in 2021.

Employment Law Review – What Changed in 2020 & What to Expect in 2021

Reflecting on the Events of 2020

On 23 March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnston announced unprecedented restrictions and a national lockdown across the United Kingdom to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and so began the most challenging nine months UK Employers have had to face since the outbreak of WW2.

it is impossible to understate just how difficult the last nine months have been due to the scourge that is the COVID-19 virus, but with COVID vaccines now underway throughout the UK, hopefully we have at last reached the beginning of the end of what has undoubtedly been a challenging year for us all.   

Employment Law Changes in 2020

Long before COVID-19 appeared on the horizon, the mechanisms to introduce various changes to UK employment legislation were already underway and amidst the chaos of the COVID crisis, several significant changes to UK employment legislation were introduced.

Starting on 23 January 2021, when the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 received Royal Assent, several more changes to UK employment laws followed, including:

  • Various emergency measures were implemented as a result of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including new rules on statutory sick pay, a relaxation of holiday carry-over rules, and a government-funded furlough scheme to prevent job losses. 
  • The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2020 increased the national living wage and national minimum wage rates.
  • The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2020 increased statutory sick pay, maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay rates.
  • The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2020 (SI 2020/205) (Employment Rights Order) revised compensation limits for certain tribunal awards and other statutory payments.
  • The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1378) came into force.
  • The “Swedish derogation” in the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (which allowed employment businesses to avoid pay parity between agency workers and direct employees if certain conditions are met) was removed by the Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/724) 
  • Temporary work agencies must provide agency work-seekers with a Key Information document, including information on the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/725
  • All workers were given the right to a written statement of terms under the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/731) 
  • The threshold to request an information and consultation agreement under the ICE Regulations was lowered by the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/731) (
  • All termination payments above the £30,000 threshold are now subject to class 1A NICs
  • The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 took effect. 
  • The government issued guidance on the treatment of salaried-hours work for NMW purposes, noting that the effect of the amends to the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/621) is to widen the range of pay arrangements that are compatible with workers being treated as performing salaried-hours work under the NMW rules.
  • Temporary work agencies must provide agency workers whose existing contracts contain a Swedish derogation provision with a written statement advising that, with effect from 6 April 2020, those provisions no longer apply.   

Employment Law Changes in 2021

Looking to the year ahead, it seems very likely that the COVID-19 restrictions will continue to impact us for several more months to come, but notwithstanding the impact this will continue to have, there are also a number of legislative and employment case law developments that Employers should be aware of, mainly:

1 January 2021:  New UK points-based immigration system takes effect. On the 19 February 2020 the Prime Minister and Home Secretary announced that a new global points-based immigration system, applicable to all non-British and Irish nationals will apply from 1 January 2021. This will follow the end of free movement rights for EEA nationals on 31 December 2020.

4 January 2021:  Court of Appeal: Community Based Care Health Ltd v Narayan. On 4 January 2021, the Court of Appeal will consider whether a GP providing services to an NHS provider through a limited company had been correctly characterised as a worker under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

15 January 2021:  Consultation on proposed sentencing guidelines for offenders guilty of modern slavery offences closes. On 15 October 2020, the Sentencing Council launched a consultation on proposed sentencing guidelines for offenders guilty of modern slavery offences including slavery, servitude, compulsory labour and trafficking people for exploitation purposes. 

21 January 2021:  EAT: Webster and another v United States. On 21 January 2021, the EAT is set to consider whether an employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal brought by two local British civilian personnel who were employed by the US Air Force on UK RAF bases and were covered by the common law doctrine of state immunity.

1 February 2021:  HMRC to start publishing details of employers’ CJRS claims. HMRC will start publishing details of employers’ CJRS claims on GOV.UK from February 2021. The published information, relating to claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020, will include the employer name, an indication of the value of the claim within a banded range and the company number (for companies and LLPs). 

26 February 2021:  The government’s consultation on measures to extend the ban on exclusivity clauses in employment contracts to cover those earning under the Lower Earnings Limit will close on 26 February 2021.

26 February 2021:  The government’s consultation on measures to reform post-termination non-compete clauses in employment contracts will close on 26 February 2021.

1 April 2021:  Proposed date for revision of the socio-economic duty under the EqA 2010 and final statutory guidance in Wales. On 22 November 2019, the Welsh Government published a consultation on commencing the socio-economic duty under section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010). The consultation closed on 17 January 2020. The duty will enter into force on 1 April 2020, with interim guidance published at the same time. 

6 April 2021:  Extension of off-payroll working rules to private sector: commencement. As announced in the 2018 Budget, the extension of the rules to the private sector with effect from 6 April 2021 is intended to counter non-compliance with IR35. The measure shifts the compliance burden from the worker’s personal service company to the medium and large “client” organisations that they work for.

30 April 2021:  COVID-19: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends. On 17 December 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until 30 April 2021.

Summer 2021:  Report of government independent review of the Human Rights Act 1998 expected to be published. On 7 December 2020, the government announced the launch of an independent review of the Human Rights Act 1998 and whether it requires reform. This runs alongside the independent review of judicial review as part of the government’s commitment to examine the constitution and relationship between the government, Parliament and the courts.

9 November 2021:  Supreme Court: Harpur Trust v Brazel. On 9 November 2021, the Supreme Court is due to hear an appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision that an employment tribunal was wrong to find that “part-year workers” (those working only part of the year) should have their annual leave entitlement capped at 12.07% of annualised hours.

2 & 3 June 2022:  Bank holiday: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On 12 November 2020, the government announced the creation of a Platinum Jubilee bank holiday on 2 and 3 June 2022, creating a four-day bank holiday weekend.

Specialists you need.  Experience you can trust.

Although our offices are currently closed for the festive period they will reopen again at 9.00am on Wednesday 6 January 2021.  If you require advice on any of the issues noted above or any other employment matter, you can still book a free consultation with one of team of specialist from 6 January 2021 here – Book a Free Consultation

In the meantime, best wishes for a Happy New Year full of health, hope and happiness!

#StaySafe #HappyNewYear #ELS

Valentines Day: 5 potential problems with workplace romances

When a romance has been formed in the workplace, it can be difficult for the employer to put an end to it. The Human Rights Act 1998 states that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life subject to a few limited exceptions.

We have looked at 5 potential problems that could arise from workplace romances and how to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

Policies on workplace romances

Employers should take a proactive approach towards office romances by having a policy that sets out guidelines for workplace dating – before problems occur. These policies should be clearly communicated to all members of staff.

Most employers will be ok with two colleagues having a relationship as long as this does not affect their work responsibilities. However, it is important to note that relationships between two parties where one has managerial authority over the other is likely to be frowned upon.

Conduct in the workplace

This policy should be used to define what conduct will be viewed as appropriate/inappropriate and what will result in disciplinary action.

A ban could be included within this policy on “intimate behaviour” during working hours. For example, kissing, holding hands etc.

One rule for all

As with all workplace policies, the rules should be applied consistently throughout the workforce, including senior members of staff. Rules set out in the policy should be applied to whatever the couples protected characteristics may be under the Equality Act 2010. For example, rules should not be more enforced to a same sex couple than they are to a heterosexual couple. This would be a clear case of sexual orientation discrimination.

When the relationship turns sour

In the event that two colleagues break up, employers may feel it would be appropriate to have a rule within its policy that requires employees in a personal relationship to inform their line manager if the relationship status changes. For example, if the two parties break up.

This would provide employers and managers with a good opportunity to address potential problems early on and remind employees of the behaviour that will be expected of them.

Workplace dating: romantic gesture or sexual harassment?

Employees with romantic feelings towards a colleague may wonder if asking them out would be viewed as sexual harassment?

As with many employment law questions, the answer is “it depends.”

The Employment Tribunal when deciding a sexual harassment complaint will always look at the context of the case.

For example, an employee asks out a colleague – the colleague declines – the employee accepts this rejection and does not push any further. A sexual harassment allegation in this case would probably not stick.

However, an employee could have a valid claim for sexual harassment if the colleague persisted after the employee made their feelings clear.

How can EmployEasily Legal Services help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

Performance management guidance for employers

Performance management is the process that employers use to maintain and improve the performance of their workforce so that organisational objectives are met.

Most performance management procedures will involve:

  • Employees being set performance targets
  • Performance meetings between managers and employees to discuss performance
  • Evaluating employees against their performance measures
  • Records of performance being taken

Why is performance management important?

Managing employee performance is critical to an organisation’s success. If the performance is not monitored then there are no standards, if there are no standards, employees will feel less inclined to perform to the best of their ability.

Further, it is an essential element of employment when getting things done. It gives employees and management structure that will help an organisation:

  • Motivate employees
  • Monitor employees and ensure that they are making valuable contributions towards the companies’ goals
  • Recognise and acknowledge the good work of employees
  • Detect and improve poor performance

How to get performance management right

  • Identify clear objectives
  • Think about what suits your organisation best
  • Be transparent about the full process
  • Consistently engage and consult with employees
  • Get senior managers on board

How can EmployEasily Legal Services help?

At Employment Law Services (ELS) we can offer training courses and e-learning on performance management for you and your team. We can also support through any individual issues that you may encounter.

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

Employment Law Services Achieves a Major Milestone

Back on 16 December 2008 Employment Law Services (ELS) was formally incorporated as a limited company and on 1 January 2009 we officially commenced our first year of trading and as the bells struck midnight on New Year’s Eve not only were we celebrating the dawn of a new year, we were also celebrating achieving a significant milestone in the history of Employment Law Services (ELS), 10 fantastic years of trading!

Employment Law Services (ELS) Achieves a Major Milestone

Over the past decade we have seen our team grow and our operations expand from being a local specialist employment law firm to being a UK wide employment law firm, providing employment law and HR advice and support and Employment Tribunal Representation not just for companies in central Scotland but for SMEs throughout the whole of the UK!   Undoubtedly, the dedication and commitment of our amazing team has been key to our continuing growth and success but so too have many others, not least our clients who have put trust in us to look after all of the employment and HR needs year after year and whose demands, challenges and feedback has been invaluable in helping us to continue to drive ongoing improvements in how we deliver a fixed fee employment law service to employers that is prompt, practical, reliable, and tailored to their specific requirements at a price that won’t break the bank. 

As we reflect on the past 10 years and look forward to the next 10 years and beyond we would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have helped shape our business and so to all of our clients, suppliers and supporters, thank you for 10 amazing years and we very much look forward to another 10 great years as the preferred employment law business partner for SMEs throughout the UK.

Is failing a drug test a reason for an automatic dismissal?

A recent decision made by the Employment Tribunal has highlighted the importance of not treating a positive drug test result as a reason for automatic dismissal.

In the case of Ball v First Essex Buses Ltd, Mr Ball was employed as a bus driver and had over 20 years’ service with his employers. Part of his employment involved a routine drug test, in which the employee was expected to provide a saliva sample. To the employee’s surprise, the drug test came back and had tested positive for cocaine. Because of this, his employers suspended him and advised him he would be required to attend a fact-finding meeting.

At this meeting the employee argued that he had not taken any drugs apart from medication prescribed by his GP and that he had arranged to have a hair follicle test to prove this. This test then came back negative.

At the disciplinary hearing, Mr Ball was informed that his employer would only consider the saliva test results and not the independent hair follicle test results as they had not been carried out by one of the companies approved testers.

It was concluded that he failed the random drug test and his employment should be terminated with immediate effect. The employee appealed but remained dismissed.

Employment Tribunal considerations

When determining whether a dismissal is fair or unfair, the Employment Tribunal will assess whether the employer acted reasonably or unreasonably. In which they will look at the procedure the employer followed: Did the employer carry out a proper investigation? Was the employee given the opportunity to take a colleague into the meeting and were they given the opportunity to appeal the decision? They will then look to see whether the reason for dismissal fell within the band of reasonable responses.

In Bell v First Essex Buses Ltd, the Employment Tribunal held that: “Given the random nature of the test; the contra-indicators of the claimants good character, age (he was 60 years old), health, etc; the possibility of cross-contamination; the possibility of mislabelling the sample; the two negative hair follicle tests; and the claimants offer to retake any drug tests, the respondents decision to dismiss was therefore outside the band of reasonable responses.”

Important points that were noted included:

  • The employer had not stated in his disciplinary procedure that failing a random drug test would be viewed as gross misconduct;
  • The investigatory officer did not give the employee the chance to dispute the drug test in line with their alcohol and drug procedure;
  • The dismissing and appeal officer refused to take into consideration all other justifications for the employee having failed the drug test.

On these grounds the dismissal was held as procedurally and substantially unfair.


Employers should be cautious when treating drug test results as black and white. In this situation Mr Bell’s employer failed to recognise the independent evidence presented by the employee. To reduce the risk of a claim, it is important that employers are not closed-minded and look at all the facts of the case before coming to any harsh decisions. In this situation the employee had an exemplary record and it could be argued his employers were too harsh when applying their drug and alcohol policy.

How can EmployEasily Legal Services help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662. 0000

All I want for Christmas is…. A stress-free payroll!

Christmas and New Year can be the most expensive time of the year for most people. If you employ people, the festive period can bring a number of problems that you will need to be aware of before you can wind down for you break.

In this blog we will detail some of the most common employer Christmas payroll issues and how to avoid them.

December Pay Date

The December pay date can be awkward, paying your employees a few weeks earlier means a longer month in January.  

Generally, most employees will get paid the last working day of each month, however, if your organisations pay date falls before Christmas, your employees should be paid as normal. Failure to do so exposes your business to potential claims of breach of contract.

At Employment Law Services (ELS), we are often asked at this time of year: “Do we have to bring our employees pay dates forward in December?”

The short answer to this is, no. Employers are not legally obliged to bring their employees pay dates forward for December unless it says so in the contract of employment.

Christmas Bonuses and Gifts

Many employers choose to hand out Christmas bonuses and gifts to their employees to thank them for another successful year in business. On paper, this may look like a straightforward matter, however, for your payroll team it can be a huge challenge.

Employers should set out the difference between cash gifts and physical gifts and then consider whether the employee can sell this gift on for cash or whether the employee in receipt of the gift is a named director of the company and how much money they earn.

This can be a fairly complex matter and therefore, it is important that your payroll team are clear on both definitions.

Employers should note, that they do not have to pay a bonus to employees at all unless it states otherwise in the contract of employment.

Christmas Working Hours

There are no legal requirements around festive working hours and while a lot of employers choose to close the business for the full 2 weeks, others may choose to have their employees work in between. In this event, employers should ensure they have made the appropriate arrangements with pay roll so that these employees are paid the correct salary and on time.   

How can EmployEasily Legal Services help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662. �

An employer’s guide to Christmas employment issues

With Christmas only 4 weeks away, the employment issues surrounding this holiday often create a HR headache for employers. This blog is intended to arm employers with the correct knowledge and guidance to help make the festive season as stress free as possible.

1. Overtime

If an employee has normal working hours, overtime usually means any time you work beyond these hours. Normal working hours will be set out within the employment contract. It is important to note, that despite how busy you are with the working year coming to an end, you can not force employees to work overtime unless the employment contract states otherwise.
The Working Time Regulations sets out that employees do not have to work more than 48 hours per week on average. If an employee wishes to work beyond the 48-hour limit, they must put this in writing. This is otherwise known as the opt-out agreement.

2. Managing client gifts

No matter how well intended a client’s gift may be, the potential exists for impropriety. And, whilst it may be flattering to be in receipt of the gift, employers and employees should remain cautious before accepting a client’s token of appreciation. Accepting gifts of high value, could be viewed as something that has potential to influence the professional relationship.
In addition, if a high-valued gift is viewed as giving someone a financial advantage to prompt that person to carry out their duties or activities improperly, accepting the gift may result in an offence under the Bribery Act 2010.
Therefore, all employees should be reminded of the rules and policies on accepting client gifts. For example, all gifts received should be entered into a register and no gifts of a certain value should be accepted without prior consent from a line manager.

3. Winter sickness bugs

With the cold and flu spreading more easily in the winter months, employees are more likely to catch illnesses and pass them on.  Given the high costs that are associated with short-term sickness, employers should ensure that they have in place an easily implemented sickness absence policy, including who should be the point of contract during the absence, what evidence will be required, sickness pay details and return to work interviews.

4. Adverse weather conditions

As an employer, it pays to be fully prepared for whatever weather the winter throws at you – whether its wind, rain, storms, snow or ice.

So, what issues should you keep in mind?

• You are not legally obliged to pay employees if they do not come into work because of the weather
• You should have a policy that outlines this
• Try to be flexible where possible – can you both come to a short-term arrangement in which the employee can work from home until the weather improves?

5. Dress code and Christmas jumpers

Some employers choose to relax their dress code at Christmas. Allowing employees to dress down and wear Christmas jumpers can help bring some festive cheer into the workplace. However, employers should be cautious about the wording when notifying employees about this, ensure they know Christmas jumpers and casual dress is optional and not compulsory. In addition, employers should be sensitive to employees who do not celebrate Christmas or do not wish to dress any differently at this time of year.

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

The law on payslips is set to change by April 2019: Start preparing now!

Providing your employees with payslips is generally a routine process that does not require a lot of thought behind it.

Under UK law, a payslip should be issued to all employees each time they are paid. Employers do not need to issue payslips to non-employees, this includes contractors, freelancers and workers. There are further exceptions made for the police service, merchant sea men and master or crew members working in share fishing.

At present, the law states that an employee’s payslip should be issued on or before pay day and should set out the following:

• Earnings before and after any deductions
• The amount of deductions that may change each time the employee is paid, for example, tax and national insurance

As of April 2019, employers will need to state how many hours all employees and workers are being paid for on the slip. This is because workers who have not been receiving a payslip up until now have been seen to struggle when attempting to calculate what deductions are being taken from their pay. And, if the pay calculated does not support what it states on the payslip, they are able to dispute this more easily in front of an Employment Tribunal.

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) help?

If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.

2019 Budget: National Living Wage set to increase by almost 5%

The National Living Wage, which is the statutory minimum wage for those aged 25 and over, has to rise to £8.21ph from April 2019 – which means an additional £690 annually for low paid workers.

The Low Pay Commission (LPC), which recommended the increase, have anticipated that the increase will see almost 2.4 million workers throughout the UK better off.

In addition, the Government have accepted all of the LPC’s recommendations for the following NMW rates:

• 21- to 24-year-olds will increase by 4.3% from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour;
• 18- to 20-year-olds will increase by 4.2% from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour;
• 16- to 17-year-olds will increase by 3.6% from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour;
• Apprentice rates will increase by 5.4% from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour; and
• The accommodation offset will increase by 7.9% from £7.00 to £7.55.

“The increase in the national living wage (NLW) to £8.21 in April 2019 will ensure a pay rise for the lowest-paid workers that exceeds both inflation and average earnings.

“Over the past year, the labour market has continued to perform well and the economy, while subdued, has met the criteria of ‘sustained growth’ set out in our remit for the NLW. We therefore recommended an increase in line with a path to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020.” Said Sanderson, who is the chair of the LPC.

He added further: “We recommended real-terms increases to the national minimum wage (NMW) rates for younger workers and apprentices, as the labour market conditions for these groups remain strong. These rates will continue to rise faster than both inflation and average earnings.

“We opted for smaller increases than we recommended last year because of slightly weaker labour market conditions for young people, combined with insufficient evidence to fully understand the impact of the largest increases in a decade implemented in April of this year. However, next year’s will still be some of the highest increases on record.”

How can Employment Law Services (ELS) Help?
If you are an employer who requires assistance with any of the issues raised in this blog contact us today for your free consultation 0370 218 5662.