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Latest From The Employment Law Experts
Latest From The Employment Law Experts

Latest From The Employment Law Experts

Of the 370,000 jobseekers referred to the Government's flagship Work Programme between May and October last year, just 5.5pc, or 20,000, were claimants on long-term sick benefits who have been identified as being fit to work, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Government had intended that three times as many people in this category should be referred to the jobs scheme to help speed their return to work, industry experts said, adding that without tailored support, they may never find work. A Government-commissioned report last year warned hundreds of thousands of people were needlessly dropping out of work onto sickness-related benefits, due to an illness or disability, when they could still be earning a living in an appropriate job. Ministers have vowed to crack down on Britain's benefits culture, pledging to "make work pay" so that it is more attractive for claimants to get back to work where possible. But official figures last week revealed just a tiny proportion of those on sickness benefits – but classified by the coalition as able to work – have been put through the Government's £5bn Work Programme since its introduction last May. The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (Cesi), a think tank, said 45,000 fewer benefits claimants in the so-called "employment support allowance" category had been referred to the scheme than the Government had hoped. Thousands of people in this category have appealed against the Government's decision to classify them as "able to work", which was delaying their referral…
Monday, 27 February 2012 22:22

HR Companion’s 5 Employment Law changes in 2012

Written by Jonathan Lord
1. Qualifying period for unfair dismissal protection is increased The biggest change to employment rights for 2012 is the increase of the qualifying period for an employee to bring an unfair dismissal claim from one year to two years. This change comes into force on 6 April 2012. The Government has said that it intends to increase the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to "provide more time for employers and employees to resolve difficulties, give employers greater confidence in taking on people and ease the burden on the employment tribunal process". 2. Pensions auto-enrolment begins In what may prove to be one of the biggest challenges of the year for larger employers, starting from 1 October 2012, employers with 50 or more employees have to enroll eligible employees automatically, and make mandatory employer contributions, into a qualifying workplace pension scheme or the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest). See our Pension Arrangement Guide HERE 3. Changes to employment tribunal procedure The Government has announced a "fundamental review" of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure, with substantial changes to employment tribunal procedure expected to be introduced on 6 April 2012. Employment judges will hear unfair dismissal cases alone in the tribunal, unless they direct otherwise. The maximum amount of a deposit order, which a tribunal can order a party to pay as a condition to continuing with tribunal proceedings, will increase from £500 to £1,000. The maximum amount of a costs order, which a tribunal may award in favour of a legally…
Saturday, 25 February 2012 22:59

2nd Class Delivery on wages

Written by Jonathan Lord
Hundreds of temporary Royal Mail staff are furious after failing to get their Christmas wages. In some parts of the country they've walked off the job in protest. The Royal Mail has apologised, insisting that "firm action" was being taken - including giving staff who had not received their wages a voucher, which they could exchange for cash. But local newspapers across the country have highlighted the anger and frustration of temporary workers who feel they would have been better off on the dole. One man, Royston Allcock, told the Birmingham Evening Mail: "I have a wife and four children and I was relying on the money to buy presents, do some Christmas shopping... People have done the work and need the money". Other staff in Wolverhampton said they had no wages since 29 November; Most temporary post office staff are employed through an in-house agency, Angard Staffing Solutions, owned by Royal Mail and part-managed by Reed Specialist Solutions, although other agencies are also supplying Christmas staff. But some workers claim the management change is the main problem. One man told the Lancashire Evening Post that things had been fine until the agency took over. "This year it has been chaos and no-one has any idea of when they will get paid." he claimed. "One worker has only 65p in his account and... is really struggling. The whole thing is a shambles." The Communication Workers Union says it has had complaints from people around the country about issues involving Angard.…
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