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Embrace HR Sleeping Nights Payments

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court (Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake) has established that where a worker is paid a flat shift rate (or an allowance) for a sleeping night, when they are awake and working for any period of that shift, they should be paid no less than the national minimum wage for those hours, in addition to the shift flat rate (or allowance). We have set out below a summary for your information.

A support worker who spends any time ‘awake for the purposes of working’ during the course of a sleeping night shift is entitled to be paid for every minute of that time at no less than the NMW rate, in addition to the flat shift rate (or allowance).

This could result in a worker being paid the flat rate (or allowance) plus an hourly rate for the whole shift if he/she was ‘awake for the purposes of working’ for the whole shift.

The Supreme Court clarified that sleeping night allowances are not pay/wages, as such, but are compensation given to support workers for the inconvenience of having to spend nights at their employer’s house rather than in their own home. The Court also made it clear that sleeping night allowances do not count towards the worker’s NMW calculation.

That said, the decision has confirmed that the practice of paying support workers a flat shift rate amount (or allowance) for sleeping night shifts is perfectly lawful and that it does not matter if the amount of the allowance is less than the equivalent of what the worker would be entitled to be paid if he/she was to be remunerated for the whole shift at the NMW rate.

Clients whose current practice is to pay a flat shift rate (or allowance) to their workers for sleeping night shifts but to pay them for the whole night shift on an hourly rate (NMW compliant) basis if they are required to get up and work on more than XX occasions (or for more than YY hours in total) during the course of the shift, now find themselves exposed to the risk of NMW breach complaints or claims.

This is because under this type of arrangement if a worker is called upon to work during the course of a particular sleeping night but the number of occasions he/she is called upon is less than XX (or he/she has to work for less than YY hours in total), there will be a breach of the NMW legislation if he/she is not paid anything (over and above his/her sleeping night allowance) for doing that work. With this type of arrangement there is also a risk of workers bringing complaints of historical NMW breaches (coupled with back claims for under-payment of wages).

Left unchanged, the current practice of paying a flat rate (or allowance) for a sleeping night shift, with the additional cost of paying at least the NMW rate for the hours the support worker spends ‘awake for the purposes of working’, could result in a greater financial burden than simply paying the worker for the whole sleeping night shift at the NMW rate.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Embrace HR Statutory Pay rate rises

While many things in our world are unusual at present, one thing that never changes is the rate rises that come into effect each April. Read on to ensure you have the correct figures available when paying your April wages and salaries…

Wage and Statutory Pay Increases April 2021

As many of us watching the Spring Budget on 3 March concentrated on whether Chancellor Rishi Sunak would hit us with taxes to pay for the Covid support offered to workers, businesses and the self-employed over the past year, it might have been easy to miss the announcement of the annual rate rises for minimum wage and other statutory payments.

Essential for anyone dealing with payrolls and other human resource issues within the care sector, these need to be applied from various dates in April. The four rate rises are explained below.

First though, a brief explanation on the difference between the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage: the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum rate of pay per hour which almost all workers are entitled to; whereas the National Living Wage (NLW) is slightly higher and applies to workers if they’re over the age of 23.

National Living Wage (NLW)

One point to make note of is that the age threshold has been reduced for the National Living Wage, so it now applies to those aged 23 and over, while the main adult rate is for those aged 22 and 23.

  • The National Living Wage rises to £8.91 on April 1 (a rise of 2.2% from £8.72).
  • For workers aged 21 and 22 the new rate is £8.36.
  • For those aged 18 to 20 the new rate is £6.56.
  • Under-18s can look forward to a new hourly rate of £4.62, while apprentices will receive £4.30.
Age 2020 rate 2021 rate Percentage increase
20-21 £8.20 £8.36 2%
18-20 £6.45 £6.56 1.7%
16-17 £4.55 £4.62 1.5%
Apprentice £4.15 £4.30 3.6%

Statutory Redundancy Pay Cap

A weekly pay cap is applied to Statutory Redundancy Pay, and any changes come into effect on 6 April 2021.

The cap is calculated in line with any changes that have occurred to the RPI (Retail Prices Index). So, if the RPI in the preceding September is higher, then the statutory weekly redundancy amount is increased by the same percentage.

At present the cap is set at £538, with the new maximum predicted to be £544.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

The flat SMP rate changes on the first Sunday in April. This year, the rate should rise to £151.97 (from £151.20) on 4 April 2021.

This rate is also the same for Statutory Adoption, Shared Parental and Paternity Pay.

Your employees should be paid 90% of their average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of their maternity leave. For the next 33 weeks, they should receive whichever is the lower – SMP or 90% of their average weekly earnings.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The rate for SSP will change on 6 April 2021 and should rise to £96.35 (from £95.85).

Employees are entitled to SSP if they are off sick for four or more days in a row and can claim SSP for up to 28 weeks.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited provide a specialised HR service to the care sector, from recruitment through to exit.

Embrace HR Aylesbury changes April 2019

It’s vital that HR professionals keep up to date with changes in the law – here’s a rundown of the most recent updates…

Itemised pay statements

The right to receive an itemised pay statement has been extended to workers, rather than just employees from 6 April 2019.

If you have staff whose pay varies depending on the hours worked, the pay statement will have to include the total number of hours worked as well.

There are two ways to show this: it can be included either as an aggregate figure or as separate figures for different types of work.

Increase to National Minimum Wages

Both the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage have risen as of 1 April 2019. Hourly rates are now as follows:

 

Under 18

18-20

21-24

25 and over

National Minimum Wage

£4.35

£6.15

£7.70

National Living Wage

£8.21

Apprentices now receive £3.90 an hour and a daily accommodation offset of £7.55.

Statutory sick and family pay

The rate for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay has also increased. From 7 April 2019, it has upped to £148.68 a week.

Statutory sick pay has increased to £94.25.

Remember to update any of your policies or documents that mention these rates.

Statutory redundancy pay calculations

There are also new limits on statutory redundancy pay. Members of staff who have been employed for two years and are made redundant must be paid based on their weekly pay, length of service and age. The maximum weekly pay is now £525.

Employment tribunal award limits

Likewise, the limits on tribunal awards and other amounts payable under employment legislation has increased. The maximum amount of a week’s pay for calculating the basic award for unfair dismissal is now £525, and the maximum amount for unfair dismissal has upped to £86,444.

Pension contributions

The minimum amount for auto enrolment has increased since 6 April – to 8% of an employee’s qualifying earnings, with at least 3% coming from employers, with employees making up the difference.

It is also important to note that employers must complete re-enrolment every three years. The date for this will depend on your original staging date.

If you would like to discuss any of the above points further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761 288 or contact us here.

If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, please sign up here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also with SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR Aylesbury legislation

April is a busy time for anyone responsible for the payroll, as the changes announced in November’s budget come into effect…

Keeping up with the changes in regulation can be mind-boggling sometimes, so here is our handy guide to the latest changes in wages and pension payments so you can keep on track.

First is the National Living Wage, which applies to employees over the age of 25. This increased from April 1 2018 by 33p an hour, taking the hourly rate from £7.50 to £7.83.

For those under 25, the National Minimum Wage applies – there’s a number of rates depending on age and whether employees are on an apprentice scheme:

  • Age 21-24 increased to £7.38 (was £7.05)
  • Age 18-20 Increased to £5.90 (was £5.60)
  • Under 18s increased to £4.20 (was 4.05)
  • Apprentices under 19 are entitled to £3.70 (was £3.50)

Your company may be interested in signing up to the Real Living Wage scheme, which aims to recognise the real cost of living. The level of the wage is set by the charity Living Wage Foundation, and more than 3,000 employers are already signed up to the scheme. The current Living Wage is £8.75 an hour (£10.20 in London). It applies to all over 18s and a new rate is calculated each November.

While committing to the Real Living Wage is voluntary, the minimum contributions set by the government for automatic enrolment contributions to workplace pensions are not.

There are two phases to the increase in these contributions – one started on 6 April 2018 and the next will take place from 6 April 2019.

The increase applies to all employers with staff in a pension scheme, and it is the employers’ responsibility to make sure the payments are made.

The amount you have to pay will depend on the type of scheme you have signed up for. Most schemes require a minimum 2% of earnings (increasing to 3% next April) and based on a specific earnings range (between £6,032 and £46,350 for 2018/2019). Calculations include salary, wages, commission, overtime, bonuses and statutory sick pay, as well as statutory adoption pay, statutory maternity pay and paternity pay.

Finally, another big requirement for companies is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which comes into effect on 25 May 2018. The requirements are being introduced in order to protect the data of Europe’s residents. A useful guide to this can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/Introduction.

There’s a lot to take in with all these changes, and any part of the HR process that can be automated has to help with the job. HR software takes a lot of the hassle out of the everyday management jobs in HR – keeping track of holidays, absences, performance and so on. Discover more about our Cloud software and read more about the importance of automating processes here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.