Just when you think there cannot be anymore paperwork left to complete, along comes another change to pension contributions. Hopefully, you should already have made the necessary changes from the start of April. That was the date when employer contributions to workplace pensions rose to a minimum of three per cent. Making the increase should be straight forward enough but there are a number of things to bear in mind. For one thing, if you self-certify your workplace scheme you will have different minimum contribution increases, depending on how pensionable pay is calculated.
The latest gender pay gap figures didnt make for particularly pretty reading. It might have been hoped that this years figures filed by those companies with more than 250 employees would have shown the difference in pay for men and women narrowing. In fact, by some measures, the gap has actually got worse. For instance, the UKs national median gender pay gap for full-time workers in public and private sector organisations is now 9.6 per cent, compared to 9.2 per cent last year.
We all like to have fun at work. Lets be honest, we are there for long enough that anything we can do to raise a laugh and help pass the time must be a good thing, right? Well, up to a point. Because there is a point at which humour, banter and the like can cross a line and become harassment. And its a line all companies must know how to tread for both their own good and that of their staff.
Dont you just love April? Spring is springing, the weather's getting better and summer is just around the corner. Oh, and there are all those new employment laws and changes to pay and working practices to start getting on top of. Fortunately, this year weve compiled our list of things you need to be considering as the new financial year kicks into life. Ready? Here goes
Heres a tricky question for you? Have you heard of the Governments Good Work Plan? Thought not. For something which could have some pretty major repercussions for the way many of us work, its flown a little under the radar. The plan was unveiled just before Christmas and is designed to improve protection for those working in the Gig Economy, including agency workers and individuals on zero hours contracts.
It’s getting on for two years since the Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy – and it’s still not clear if most employers understand the system. In simple terms, the levy is a tax on the nation’s biggest employers aimed at raising some £3billion to fund 3 million apprenticeships by 2020. But it’s a tax directly aimed at encouraging businesses to support the training of their own apprentices to help develop the skills the country will need for the future.
Notice anything different in your pay packet this month? The more keen-eyed of you should have seen an increase in your own contribution to your workplace pension. The new rate came in in April and means that employees must pay a minimum of five per cent under auto-enrolment rules. If you are really on the ball you will remember that the same contribution increased from one per cent to three per cent this time last year. In some respects, this is good news.
Heres a question for you. Would you be able to spot an example of modern slavery? It sounds like it should be simple. But figures from police forces across the UK suggest that cases are not being reported because members of the public are simply unaware of what they should be looking for. The latest figures released just last month show that reports of suspected modern slavery rose by more than a third in 2018, although campaigners described reported cases as only "the tip of the iceberg". In total, some 6,993 potential modern slavery cases were reported to the government's National Referral Mechanism (NRM) according to the National Crime Agency a far cry from the Governments own estimates that there between 10,000 and 13,000 modern slaves in the UK.
There are few of us who would choose to work for free. Even those of us who really love our jobs still expect to be remunerated for them at the end of the month. And yet millions of us are failing to claim an essential part of that pay every year - either through ignorance or confusion. That pay is holiday pay. New figures show that in the UK 1.8 million people are not receiving the holiday pay they are entitled to - meaning they are missing out on an incredible £1.8 billion each year.
It used to be simple. You worked until you were 60 or 65, paid your stamp and when your landmark birthday arrived retired on the State Pension. But then we all started living much longer and the economics of this simple age simply didnt add up any more. And so today, we have a hugely varied pensions landscape which, more often than not, leaves most of us scratching our heads with complete and utter bewilderment. So heres a few basic facts about the State Pension to put you on the right lines.
Theres been a long list of American cultural traditions imported into the UK over the last few years. Think of Halloween, McDonalds, Black Friday and even Thanksgiving and you get the idea. But theres another tradition which has begun to slip almost unnoticed into our workplaces which is a direct import from the other side of the pond. Employee Appreciation Day is staged on the first Friday of March over in the US and has now started to make an appearance in this country. It sounds a typically American thing to do doesnt it? After all, if employees are only to be celebrated on one day of the year, what of the other 364?