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HR & Employment law update for employers

HR & Employment law update for employers (November 23)

In our latest briefing we look at what the Labour party, many believe are a government in waiting, will mean for the employment and employee relations landscape, with articles covering fair pay agreements, the abolition of the ‘2 year rule’ and a summary of their green paper on employment rights. We’ll also cover an often asked question from SME employers, whether to spend hard earned cash on enhancing employee benefits & we’ll wash up with a dismissal over a coffee and a sandwich – the importance of honesty in the employment relationship.

Check out too our new due diligence training content – a new (free) training video and other materials to help staff responsible for recruitment avoid discriminatory decisions through the selection process – more on this below.

Main Party Conferences announcement re Living & Minimum Wages

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had already announced that from April 2024 the Living Wage will increase to £11 per hour, Labour joined the bandwagon in their conference saying that all of the other rates would be increased to at least £10 per hour.

Labour’s Fair Pay agreements

Not the minimum wage may have much more relevance if Labour’s Fair Pay Agreements have their way – based on (as far as we can tell) European ‘Social Plans’ Labour intend to introduce sector-based collective agreements to determine core terms and conditions, which we would expect to include termination payments.

These would set new minimum standards by sector, overwriting statutory redundancy pay terms and minimum wage legislation, and introducing minimum termination compensation by sector, with the terms negotiated with trade unions. Employers can expect to lose some of their current autonomy – to read more about it, please follow this link.

Abolition of the 2 year rule

Another Labour innovation, detailed in their green paper ‘ A new deal for working people’ will the end of the current requirement for employees to have 2 years’ service to be able to claim unfair dismissal to an employment tribunal – Labour would make this a day 1 right and extend it to ‘workers’ too. For more, please click here.

A new deal for working people – Labour’s impact on HR and employment law

For our summary of Labour’s employment proposals, please follow this link.

Should SME employers gold plate statutory minimum terms?

JCHR, our sister site for combined payroll and HR outsourcing, has an article which looks at the costs vs benefits of enhancing statutory benefits. The article discusses the most common enhancements & also looks at pensions auto enrolment for SMEs and the possibility of outsourcing the chore of the monthly pensions upload. Click here for the article.

Due diligence training –  Avoiding discrimination in recruitment

We’ve published our latest toolkit for employer’s due diligence training – due diligence training reduces the risk of a claim against you, it takes very little time and therefore makes perfect sense.

The current topic is discrimination in recruitment – how it can happen, and how to avoid it. We’ve made a 12 minute video briefing on the topic, which is designed to be shown to all those who have recruitment responsibility – we’ve also prepared an employer’s briefing and a couple of emails to inform recruiters about the topic and to draw their attention to the video.

These are all available in the member’s area, accessed from the myHRdept homepage – they are absolutely free for retained clients of myHRdept and JCHR, and won’t even impact your support hours.

Larger and riskier employers will be expected to do more to build their due diligence defences and if you are a larger employer, or one with a lot of recruitment (internal or external), you should talk to us about a more tailored due programme for you.

Employment cases

Would you be prepared to lie over the cost of a coffee and a sandwich? That’s just what a senior banker did, and his breach of trust cost him his job, the dismissal found to be fair by the employment tribunals. The case serves as a useful reminder of the mutual obligation of trust, and we profiled it earlier this month – you can read about the case, and the learning points for employers, by clicking here: 

That’s it for this update, if you have any questions, or subjects you’d like us to cover in future updates, please email us at enquiries@myhrdept.co.uk, call us on 01628 820515 or let your normal HR contact at myHRdept know.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR, payroll or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at enquiries@myhrdept.co.uk to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.

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