A run down on the top HR and Payroll news stories from the last week or so, from HR software provider Carval Computing Limited.
- Government announces national minimum wage rise
- Budget 2015: Payroll at a glance
- Employment tribunal fees lead to 70% drop in cases
- Women have better concentration than men
- UKCES launches fud to boost SME productivity
- Agency workers afraid of asserting employment rights
- SMEs unprepared for shared parental leave
Government announces national minimum wage rise
The national minimum wage will rise by 20p to £6.70 an hour from October, the government has announced.
This is the largest increase in the national minimum wage since 2008.
However, the biggest rise comes for apprentices – the national minimum wage for apprentices will go up by 20% to £3.30 an hour, an increase of 57p.
Budget 2015: payroll at a glance
Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his last Budget before the May 7 General Election. The following are the key points at a glance for payroll. Read full story
Employers divided on employment tribunal fees as cases drop by 70%
Employers are split over the future of employment tribunal fees, which have led to a substantial 70% drop in the number of claims made by employees since their introduction in July 2013. Read full story
Women can concentrate for longer than men, according to a recent survey conducted by Regus. The global workplace provider asked 3000 professionals ‘how long they can productively focus in a distraction-free environment without a break’. The results revealed that the most popular male answer was 1-2 hours, with 41% of the focus group giving this answer. However, in comparison, the most popular female response was 2-3 hours, with 37% giving that answer, prompting Regus to claim that women can concentrate for longer than men. Read more
UKCES launches fund to boost SME productivity
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is launching a fund to address the productivity gap in small businesses.
Part of the Commission’s UK Futures Programme, the fund aims to develop better leadership and entrepreneurial skills in SMEs.
UKCES is calling for bids from institutions with strong local presencesthat make a strategic contribution to their local economy, such as large employers, universities and banks. It refers to these as ‘anchor institutions’.
These anchor institutions can bid for a share of £1.5 million to support their local economies. Proposals must demonstrate how these larger bodies can support smaller firms in leadership and entrepreneurship. Each project will run for a maximum of 12 months, starting in August 2015.
The scheme aims to address the UK’s productivity problem. Figures show the UK’s productivity levels are 20% less than other advanced economies. The UK has the lowest labour productivity level in the G7, apart from Japan. (Read more.).
Agency workers afraid of asserting employment rights
Agency workers are unaware of and afraid of asserting their employment rights, a study from Acas has revealed. Acas’s report, Three sides to every story: the impact of the Agency Worker Regulations, found agency workers were unaware of rights around holiday pay, notice period and the 12-week qualifying period (the point when an agency worker who is doing identical work to a regular worker is entitled to the same basic terms and conditions). Analysing calls to its agency workers helpline, Acas found one in five calls were related to contract issues. Read more.
SMEs unprepared for shared parental leave
More than a third (36%) of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are not ready to implement shared parental leave (SPL), according to research by law firm Slater and Gordon. SPL comes into effect in April, but Slater and Gordon found 44% of SMEs are worried about how the regulations will impact their business. Only 14% said they “fully supported” the new regulations as a positive change for business. Read more.