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Is it safe to dismiss an employee who is receiving long-term disability benefits?

The EAT has dealt a blow to employers, confirming that the purpose of permanent health insurance and similar schemes would be defeated if an employer could end entitlements under this type of scheme by dismissing the employee on grounds of capability. 
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Is it safe to dismiss an employee who is receiving long-term disability benefits?

Part-time workers: hours -v- pay

The Court of Appeal has agreed with the lower courts that a part-time cabin crew member had been treated less favourably than a full-time crew member, because she had to be available for work 53.5% of the year but was only paid 50% of the full-time salary (British Airways plc v Pinaud).
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Part-time workers: hours -v- pay

UK gender pension gap at almost 40 per cent

Many inches have been written on the UK's gender pay gap in the past year, including on this blog. However, little attention has been given to the gender pension gap. New analysis from the trade union Prospect on UK household incomes suggests the gap between men's and women's pension income is almost 40 per cent (or around £7,000). To give some context, that is more than twice the current gender pay gap, which according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures is now 17.9 per cent for all employees.
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UK gender pension gap at almost 40 per cent

Taxation of termination payments: employer NIC charges further delayed to April 2020

In the 2016 Budget, the government announced that termination payments over £30,000 would be subject to employer Class1A national insurance contributions (NICs) from April 2018. Termination payments over the tax-exempt threshold of £30,000 are currently only subject to income tax. In the 2017 Budget, the government announced that this change would be delayed for a year and take effect from April 2019.

However, in the Autumn 2018 Budget earlier this week, the government announced that this change will be further delayed. Subject to any further postponements, employer NICs on termination payments over the £30,000 threshold will now become payable in April 2020.

Whilst most termination payments fall below £30,000, for employers this announcement will come as a welcome, albeit temporary, reprieve from additional costs in those cases where the tax-exempt threshold is exceeded.

Taxation of termination payments: employer NIC charges further delayed to April 2020

New legislation seeks to ensure restaurant owners give their employees all tips from customers

New legislation is expected to be implemented to ban restaurants from keeping tips from their employees. The intention is restaurant owners will not be able to make deductions from tips which are paid by card in order to fund administration costs.

It is reported that High Street chains regularly take up to 10% of tips paid by credit or debit cards from employees. The issue was initially addressed two years ago in an official review led by the then business secretary, Sajid Javid, although nothing concrete had materialised.

The government is now re-addressing the issue, announcing that UK legislation will not only ensure workers get the tips they deserve, but will also give customers reassurance that the tips they leave are for the service they receive.

The announcement of new legislation is a timely reminder to employers of the protections that employees are entitled to during the course of their employment. Employers should adopt a proactive approach and re-evaluate their tipping procedure in order to avoid non-compliance and reputational risks.

 

 

 

New legislation seeks to ensure restaurant owners give their employees all tips from customers

Could employees be responsible for choosing their auto-enrolment provider?

For those with an interest in pensions and, in particular, the practicalities of auto-enrolment, this week has brought some interesting suggestions on making the whole thing work a little more smoothly. One of the main stumbling blocks to truly integrated pension saving has been that the current auto-enrolment system treats workplace pensions as just that. They are something put in place by your employer and when you change employers your pension pot can be stranded or at the very least difficult to move from place to place. This is inefficient and means that many employees have small savings pots scattered around multiple employers given the way the employment market works in the real world.

Previous suggestions to deal with this have included variants of ‘pot follows member’ whereby there would be an automatic transfer when an employee changes employment, but this runs into immediate issues around member choice and comparative management charges. Why be forced to move to a scheme with a higher annual management charge or one that doesn’t offer the investment choices you want – plus costs!

The new suggestion would be to make what scheme you use for auto-enrolment an employee rather than employer decision. The employee would pick a personal pension plan (that met basic AE requirements) and the employer’s duties would be to pay into that. When the employee moves – the pension moves.

This could potentially kill two birds with one stone. However, as with most pensions issues, this is unlikely to be top of the government’s agenda and there may well be unanticipated wrinkles in the application of the proposal – for example, how will an individual employee pick a good personal pension scheme without financial advice?

Something to watch for.

 

Could employees be responsible for choosing their auto-enrolment provider?

Labour’s plan to force businesses to hand equity to their staff has divided opinion. What would the policy mean for UK businesses?

The shadow chancellor John McDonnell has revealed details of Labour's employee ownership policy which would see every company with more than 250 staff set up an "inclusive ownership fund" (IOF). Under the proposal, an IOF would own up to 10 per cent of the company's equity on its workers' behalf.
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Labour’s plan to force businesses to hand equity to their staff has divided opinion. What would the policy mean for UK businesses?

Pay gap between younger and older workers

The pay gap between the under-30s and over-30s has risen by more than half in the last 20 years, as younger workers are still enduring the residual effects of the financial crisis.
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Pay gap between younger and older workers

Supreme Court hears Barnardo’s RPI/CPI Appeal

Dentons' Reward team are advising the Representative Beneficiaries of the Barnardo's Staff Pension Scheme ("the Scheme") in an application to the Supreme Court to decide whether the Scheme rules permit a switch from RPI to CPI for revaluation or indexation of pension payments.
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Supreme Court hears Barnardo’s RPI/CPI Appeal

All workers to benefit from the right to an itemized payslip

An Order for an amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) has now been made. The Order will grant every worker the right to an itemised pay statement from 6 April 2019.
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All workers to benefit from the right to an itemized payslip