Legislation and Payment Changes April 2016

As always, April sees a number of changes in financial matters and the big change for 2016 is the introduction of the National Living Wage – rates for many other payments, however, have been frozen. Here’s a snapshot of the current situation:

National Living Wage

The headline-grabbing change for this April is the introduction of the compulsory National Living Wage (NLW). From 6 April 2016, this mandatory payment will apply to all workers aged 25 and over.

Initially set at £7.20 an hour, it will run alongside the current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates (see table – rates are likely to change again on 1 October 2016) and is expected to rise to more than £9 by 2020.

National Minimum Wage

The Government is also targeting employers who fail to pay the correct rates for NMW. An increase in the penalty for underpayment is also on the cards, under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. The fine of 100% of the underpayment owed to each worker will be doubled to 200% up to £20,000 per worker.

Statutory Rates

Generally, the rates of Statutory Pay increase in April in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), however as this fell by 0.1% in the year to September 2015, the rates for 2016/2017 have been frozen. Employees must earn at least £112 a week to be entitled to these payments – this amount has also been frozen for 2016/17.

Compensation Payments

Laws that will see employer face financial penalties if they fail to pay tribunal awards or Acas settlement sums are expected to come into effect in April 2016. Employers will be forced to pay 50% of the unpaid award – maximum and minimum amounts will apply – and there will be reductions for prompt payment.

For help with your human resources requirements, issues and activities, please contact us for a no obligation discussion. Embrace HR, based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, helps SMEs who do not have their own HR departments, or those who need HR support from time to time.  Email us at cecily.lalloo@embracehr.co.uk or phone Cecily on 07767 308 717.

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Bank Special Needs Nanny, Wingfield, Leighton Buzzard

A bright, 8-year old boy, is looking for a new Special Needs Nanny to join his bank team. He has Cerebral Palsy with physical and communication difficulties and lives with his Mum and Dad and younger sister. Would you like to help his Mum to attend appointments in term time and to care for him should he be off school unexpectedly? Can you provide cover before and after school and in the early evenings, weekends and school holidays? If so, then continue reading and send your CV to hr.support@embracehr.co.uk or phone 07767 308 717 for more information.

TITLE: Bank Special Needs Nanny

REPORTS TO: Case Manager

ACCOUNTABLE TO: Parents

PLACE OF WORK: Wingfield, Leighton Buzzard nr Dunstable

QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE: Previous experience of working with children with complex needs, ideally within the home environment and/or the wider community.

WORKING TIME: Bank hours as required, weekdays during term time 7-8.30 a.m. and 4.30-7.30 p.m. Saturdays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. split shifts : 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

RATE OF PAY: From £11.00 per hour weekdays

You will be required to undergo an Enhanced DBS check and must have proof of eligibility to work in the UK. A conviction will not necessarily prevent you from this work.

THE JOB ROLE

You will provide the assistance our Client’s parents require for the care of their son and take sole charge at pre-arranged times. You will help with all activities of daily living as well as enable him to access play, learning, social and leisure activities.

Promoting our Client’s wellbeing and support him in implementing the therapy programmes that his therapists and teachers advise will be important as he is making progress in all areas of his development.

ABOUT YOU

You will have previous experience working with children with complex needs, ideally within the home environment and/or the wider community. You are confident working in our Client’s own home and sensitive to the needs and wishes of the family. You will easily establish rapport with children and engage them in activities appropriate to their age and functional abilities. You will be able to deliver care competently and be able to provide evidence to demonstrate this. Your outlook will be positive, you will have a great sense of humour and a fun approach. You will also be patient and tolerant, be a good communicator, reliable and trustworthy with a responsible attitude.

You have a flexible approach and use your own initiative when required. You are willing to update your existing skills and learn new skills. You are fit and able to move and handle, using appropriate techniques and equipment.

You can demonstrate an understanding of confidentiality and privacy and work effectively as part of a team.

It is desirable if you have a qualification in childcare, teaching or nursing but it is not essential.

Car driver and non-smoker essential.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DUTIES?

Assist with all aspects of his daily activities including his personal care like bathing, washing, dressing, toileting, feeding and medication.

Liaise with his Mum and Dad, the Team Leader and Case Manager regarding his on-going care.

Follow advice and recommendations made by his therapists such as positioning, feeding, exercises, etc.

Engage our Client in stimulating play under the guidance of his parents and therapists.

Facilitate appropriate social and leisure activities.

Maintain daily physiotherapy and postural management programs.

Assist in the care of the Client’s sister, for instance when the parents are spending time with their disabled son.

Assist with general household tasks as and when required.

Maintain accurate records as required.

Maintain your own records of working hours, including completion of timesheets and records of expenses.

Participate in training to the needs of the Client.

Engage in regular supervision with the Case Manager.

Attend meetings and/or case conferences as required.

Provide cover for care team members during holidays and periods of sickness or absence.

Provide support and assistance on family holidays.

Please send your CV and covering letter to hr.support@embracehr.co.uk or phone 07767 308 717 and we will send you an application form.

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Senior Designer for publishing company based in Harrow, Middlesex

REPORTS TO: Head of Design

PAY: circa £23,000 per annum dependent on experience

Can you demonstrate creativity and visual flair?

Do you have a working knowledge of the entire Adobe CS6 Suite or above?

Do you have publishing/magazine design experience?

Apply here and send us your CV and cover letter.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Our client, an independent publisher, is looking for a Designer to join the busy design team. You will be educated to DipHE, BA, or equivalent level in magazine or graphic design.

The company, a leading provider of innovative media solutions to the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms and electrical retailing industries, are leaders in the field of publications within these industries. You should be a creative person with magazine design experience. If you have web design skills too that is an advantage but is not essential.

You will work across a portfolio of consumer and B2B titles, including print magazines, but also tablet editions, marketing projects and events.

As a small team, you will be creative and show that you can turn your hand to anything such as:

design layouts and graphic material

commission photography or illustrations

prepare production ready pdfs and pre flight advertisement pages

You will:

be detail conscious, organised and reliable

anticipate potential problems and solutions within the planning process

be aware of the importance of meeting tight deadlines and able to prioritise accordingly

show a sense of urgency on behalf of customers and action requests quickly

provide clear and timely information as required

ensure promises are kept by following through on requests

be flexible in your approach to work

work well as part of a team, promoting effective relationships with individuals and other departments

provide support and guidance to junior team members

You will:

be MAC literate with a complete understanding of all relevant software

have a full working knowledge of Adobe CS6 Suite or above, and it is desirable to have experience with Mag+

produce well designed artwork and graphics to a high professional standard in the correct required format

have knowledge of web design but this is not essential

Your experience will demonstrate:

your knowledge of Abobe’s Creative Suite

a good command of written and spoken English

your work in a publishing/magazine environment (desirable but not essential)

Conditions:

35 hours per week

Pension scheme

Above Statutory Holiday Entitlement after qualifying period

Central Harrow location close to public transport

Friendly working environment

Apply here and send us your CV and cover letter No agencies please.

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Junior Account Manager role in Harrow, Middlesex

If you have a creative flair, have a DipHE, BA, or equivalent in Art and Design and have a good work ethic, apply for this role in a busy design team with a small independent publisher based in Harrow.

The company, a leading provider of innovative media solutions to the kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms and electrical retailing industries, are leaders in the field of publications in these industries.

They are looking for a very organised and creative person who wants a foothold in media design to work across their portfolio of consumer and B2B titles – including print magazines, but also tablet editions, marketing projects and events.

You will report to the Head of Design and will work closely with the Production Manager.

You will mainly be responsible for:

  • The production elements of the design process
  • Producing print-ready PDFs of their magazine layouts and advertising
  • Laying out advertising pages
  • Producing and designing print and online adverts for clients
  • Liaising directly with clients
  • There will be opportunities to do more advanced design work at the discretion of the Head of Design.

You will:

  • Be very creative, with lots of ideas to share
  • Work well as part of a team, promoting effective relationships with individuals and other departments
  • Anticipate potential problems and solutions
  • Show a sense of urgency on behalf of customers and action requests quickly
  • Ensure that promises are kept by following through on requests
  • Demonstrate a systematic approach to organisation and administration
  • Have a Diploma in Higher Education, a BA, or equivalent in Art and Design

You will have knowledge of:

  • MAC: All relevant design packages including In-Design, Photoshop and Adobe Distiller + Reader
  • PC: Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and scheduling packages
  • Sound understanding of printing processes
  • Ability to produce PDFs

Conditions:

  • 35 hours per week
  • Pension scheme
  • Above Statutory Holiday Entitlement after qualifying period
  • Central Harrow location close to public transport
  • Friendly working environment

Apply here

Embrace HR is recruiting on behalf of their client and is not a recruitment agency.

The National Minimum Wage 2014

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) increases on the 1st October 2014. Below are the current rates and the new rates that comes into force next week.

What

Prior to October 2014

per hour

From 1 October 2014

per hour

Workers aged 21 +

£6.31

£6.50

Development rate for workers aged 18-20

£5.03

£5.13

Young workers aged16-17

£3.72

£3.79

Apprentices under 19 or who are over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship

£2.68

£2.73

If you are a London employer – have you considered paying the London Living Wage? It is £8.80 at the present, and if your business is based anywhere in the rest of the country, the Living Wage is set at £7.65.

For help with HR, whether you are take on your first or your fiftieth employee, do contact us for a no obligation discussion. Embrace HR, based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, helps SMEs who do not have their own HR departments, or those who need HR support from time to time.

Time Off for Fathers and Partners for Antenatal Appointments

With effect from 1 October 2014, prospective fathers and partners now have the right to take unpaid leave to attend antenatal appointments. This unpaid time off from work can be taken by employees and qualifying agency workers if they meet one of the following criteria. The individual should be:

  • the baby’s father;
  • the expectant mother’s spouse, her civil partner, or partner (of either sex in an enduring relationship;
  • intended parents of a child in a surrogacy arrangement if they expect to be entitled to and intend to apply for a parental order in respect of that child.

There is no qualifying period for employees. This is a right from the first day that they are employed. However, to qualify, agency workers need to be doing the same kind of job for the same ‘hirer’ for at least 12 weeks. The maximum time per appointment is capped at 6 hours and 30 minutes but an employer may offer more time off.

If an employee or qualified agency worker is refused time off to accompany the expectant mother, they may make a complaint to the Employment Tribunal within 3 months. If the Tribunal upholds the complaint, compensation may be awarded. This would be calculated as twice the hourly rate of pay for each of the hours that the person would have taken off if the right had been respected.

Further information can be found in an employer guide by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/antenatal-appointments-time-off-to-accompany-a-pregnant-woman

How to manage maternity leave in your small business

“Managing maternity leave is a challenge for all employers, but the prospect of a key team member being away for up to a year can be a particular concern for small businesses,” says consultant Cecily Lalloo of Aylesbury-based Embrace HR, which provides HR advice and support to SMEs.

As Lalloo explains, roles within small firms are often more diverse, with one person having many responsibilities, special knowledge and established customer and supplier relationships, which can make finding a suitable temporary replacement problematic.

Employer concerns

“Owners need to be aware of the full range of employment rights that pregnant women, new mothers and new fathers have. There can be serious legal consequences if you get it wrong,” Lalloo warns.

If you lack knowledge about employment rights, Lalloo strongly recommends seeking tailored professional advice. “There are so many aspects – maternity leave and pay, flexible working requests, holiday entitlement, pension contributions, whether the employee keeps the mobile phone or company car, keeping in touch days, etc. There’s a lot of free information online, but many small business owners tell me they don’t have time to wade through it.”

Recruiting temporary cover inevitably involves additional cost and effort, and as Lalloo warns: “You don’t know if the employee will return after her maternity leave. More than one employee can be pregnant at the same time. All of these things can cause a small business owner concern when employees become pregnant, but effective management can minimise impact,” she stresses.

“Being supportive and having a flexible approach to employment can also ensure that talented, experienced and productive employees remain with your business after the birth of their child.”

Proper planning

Sue Tumelty is the founder and executive director of The HR Dept, which also provides HR support to SMEs via a nationwide network of 60 local offices. “The key to managing maternity is effective planning and good communication throughout,” she says. “Things don’t always go to plan, of course – things can change after the child is born.”

Tumelty advises starting to plan as soon as your staff member tells you she is pregnant. “Otherwise, before you know it they’re holding a baby shower and you still haven’t found cover. Talk to your employee and make sure important information about their role is written down for handover. If there can be a day or two overlap between them going on leave and their replacement starting, all the better.”

Statutory maternity leave

All pregnant employees are entitled to paid time-off for antenatal care and eligible employees can take up to 52 weeks’ statutory maternity leave (26 weeks’ ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks’ additional maternity leave), which can begin 11 weeks before the expected week of the birth. Mothers don’t have to take 52 weeks’ leave, but they must take at least two (or four if they work in a factory).

Eligible employees can claim up to 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay (90% of their average weekly earnings before tax for the first six weeks, then 33 weeks at £138.18 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower).

Some employers offer more generous leave and pay. Employers pay SMP to the employee, and businesses whose total annual National Insurance contributions are less than £45,000 can claim all of it back plus 3%. This is deducted from tax payable to HM Revenue & Customs.

Recruitment and induction

Tumelty says the same rules and good practice apply when recruiting temporary replacements (“having a clear job description and person specification will help when considering applicants”), and you should aim to integrate the new person quickly and efficiently, providing guidance, support and training where necessary.

What about the employee on maternity leave? “Staying in touch with them is extremely important,” she stresses. “There are 10 statutory KIT [keeping in touch] days, which are a great way to make an employee still feel part of your business.

“The employee is paid for coming in, without it affecting their SMP. KIT days can be used for training, actual work or even business social events. After many months at home with their baby some mums lose confidence and KIT days are a great way of easing their journey back to work.”

Caution advised

Tumelty recommends phased returns at the end of maternity leave. “One or two days at first, then increased gradually. Don’t expect a returning employee to hit the ground running from day one. There will have been significant changes for them and possibly your business since they’ve been away.”

Tumelty sounds a final word of caution: “Occasionally, a client will tell us they prefer the replacement and wonder what they can do about it,” she reveals. “But if they dismiss the staff member on maternity leave, they risk being taken to an employment tribunal – and they will lose. Employers must be very careful, because pregnant employees are protected by discrimination law, quite rightly so.”

Common mistakes

So, where do small firms commonly go wrong when it comes to managing maternity? “Some delay unnecessarily, rather than starting to plan and act as soon as they’re told about the pregnancy,” Lalloo replies. “This can mean you end up recruiting the wrong person, meaning you’ll have to repeat the process, which wastes time and money.”

If you expect other staff members to take on additional responsibility, Lalloo recommends including them in decisions, otherwise they can feel resentment at the additional tasks they’ve just been handed. “I also advise creating a checklist of key tasks and a timetable so that the process is smooth as possible. Don’t leave things until it’s too late. Don’t forget – babies can arrive earlier than expected,” she adds.

Republished from The Guardian
Mark Williams
Tuesday 17 June 2014 07.00 BST
https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jun/17/manage-maternity-leave-small-business
Photograph: Hugh Threlfall / Alamy