In this newsletter we look at the changes to the National Minimum (& Living) Wage and statutory payments, consultation on changes to flexible working, some important points to remember when allowing working from home, and other elements.
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Legislation Updates / Case Law
New National Minimum Wage (NMW) from 6th April 2023
Category of worker Hourly rate
23 and above (national living wage rate) £10.42
21 to 22 inclusive £10.18
18 to 20 inclusive £7.49
Under 18 (but above compulsory school leaving age) £5.28
Statutory Payments from 6th April 2023
Type of payment or recovery Rate
Statutory Maternity Pay – weekly rate for 1st 6 weeks 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings
Statutory Maternity Pay – weekly rate for remaining weeks £172.48 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) – weekly rate £172.48 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) – weekly rate for 1st 6 weeks £172.48 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings
Statutory Adoption Pay – weekly rate for remaining weeks £172.48 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) – weekly rate £172.48 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP) – weekly rate £172.48 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
SMP, SPP, ShPP, SAP or SPBP – proportion of your 92% if your total Class 1 National
payments you can recover from HMRC Insurance (both employee and employer contributions) is above £45,000 for the previous tax year – 103% if your total Class 1 Insurance for the previous tax year is £45,000 or lower
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) £109.40 per week.
Consultation on Changes to Flexible Working
A consultation has been launched by the Government in seeking the views of people across the UK, as well as businesses regarding changes to flexible working. A range of new measures are proposed aiming to give staff the ability to choose where, when and how they work. The Government has confirmed that it will
- commit to removing the 26-week qualifying period before employees can request flexible working, making it a day one right.
- require employers to consult with their employees before rejecting a flexible working requests
- give employees the right to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period, with employers required to respond to requests within two months
- remove the requirement for employees to set out how the effects of their flexible working request might be dealt with by their employer.
Also, if an employer cannot accommodate a request to work flexibly, they will be required to discuss alternative options before they can reject the request.
Home Working and Employers Duty of Care during Cold Periods
During colder periods, workers’ heating bills are likely to rise and this will obviously affect remote and hybrid workers. So, what do employers have to be mindful of when it comes to keeping workers safe in cold periods?
Employers are expected to do whatever is ‘reasonably practicable’ to safeguard their worker’s wellbeing, covering both those at the employer’s location(s) and those working from home. Employers are under a legal obligation to ensure a reasonable temperature at the employee’s place of work, with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 recommending the minimum temperature in a workplace should be at least 16°C, or if the work involves rigorous physical exertion it can be 13°C.
Risk assessments should be undertaken for those working at home, and include ‘temperature’ elements especially as considerations must be made for those with existing health conditions that could be worsened or impacted by cold temperatures. As a minimum this should result in practical advice being given, for example:
- remind workers of the need to maintain a safe temperature and how to achieve this. for example:
- working in the warmest room in the house;
- using appropriate / suitable / cost effective portable heaters;
- wearing suitable clothing;
- having hot drinks;
- give the option of coming to the office;
- check whether they may be able to claim the government’s Cold Weather Payment (some workers in England and Wales may be entitled to receive £25 for each 7 day period between 1st November and 31st This applies if the average temperature in the worker’s area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over 7 consecutive days);
Employers can also consider introducing a home working allowance / payment, to provide workers with financial assistance towards bills if they deem this appropriate. However, this is not a legal requirement so employers can implement schemes at their discretion.
Of course, it is recognised that an employer cannot control the weather, how their workers choose to heat their homes nor their ability to heat their homes either during working hours or after working hours, nor can they ensure any advice provided is followed by a worker within their own home.
Operational Managers are key to a Company’s success, and how they work with and manage their teams is an essential part of this.
We have recently introduced an additional ‘1 to 1 HR Coaching for Managers’ module, Managing Recruitment. The full list can be seen below, all are delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams:
- Being an Effective Manager / Responsibilities of a Manager;
- Dealing with Misconduct (Discipline), Poor Performance (Capability) and Grievances;
- Managing Attendance / Sickness Absence;
- Managing Performance / Developing People;
- Dealing With Conflict;
- Managing Recruitment.
Each module is focussed on the key elements involved, and takes around 1 to 1½ hours, with Managers also completing a workbook containing a number of questions and scenarios which is then analysed and feedback provided to ensure an in-depth understanding of the subject(s).
We also provide the following classroom based training courses (when social distancing rules allow) to help Managers deal with issues and people correctly to enhance your business:
- Influencing Styles and Persuasive Negotiating;
- Managing Conflict;
All of our courses can be tailored to suit your exact needs and delivered at your premises if required.
More details on all of the above can be found on our website.
We have long-term partnerships with key providers which enables us to provide other recommended services to our clients covering:
- Legal Services;
- Financial Services;
- Health Insurance and Staff Healthcare Benefits;
- Health and Safety.
Visit our website to see full information on our partners and their services.