UK law changes more often than you might think, and as an employer or employee, it’s wise to be aware of what changes are coming, and how they may affect you and your business. In this quick and easy guide, we discuss upcoming changes in 2015 and 2016, and how they affect businesses and employees.
“Fit For Work” – Free Health Assistance for Employers and Employees
Rolling out through 2015, the government now provides a free service called “Fit For Work”. The service provides advice about work and health related matters should you be off work for four weeks or more. The free health assessment provided can help you to structure a plan to get back into work. Should you be off work for four weeks or more, the service also provides a free health assessment that can help you to structure a plan to get back into work.
For employers, Fit For Work provides health and work advice online and over the phone. The service helps businesses to manage sickness absence and develop a plan for getting their employees back to work. Employers can also claim a tax exemption of up to £500 per employee for medical treatments that help employees return to work. Employers will be able to refer employees to the Fit for Work service from autumn 2015.
National Minimum Wage Increase
From October 1st 2015, the National Minimum Wage will increase for employees and workers of all ages. Here is what the hourly wage will be increased to:
- for people aged 21 and over – £6.70
- for people aged 18-20 – £5.30
- for people aged 16-17 – £3.87
- And for apprentices under 19, or over 19, and in the first year of their apprenticeship – £3.30
This means that if your wage is set to the National Minimum, you can expect it to increase as of October. If you’re an employee, it’s wise to check that your wage increases after October 1st. If you’re an employer, then it’s your duty to make sure your employees’ wages are increased and align with the change. As of autumn and winter 2015, the government, as per the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, is implementing higher penalties for businesses who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage to their employees.
National Living Wage
In April 2016, a compulsory National Living Wage will be introduced to help all employees and workers over the age of 25. The National Living Wage will be set at £7.20 an hour – a rate the Government sees as the minimum that an employee can live off.
As an employee or worker over 25, you should be aware of this change and make sure your employer implements it. For employers, you must ensure that any employees or workers over 25 are receiving the National Living Wage as of April next year. It doesn’t matter how small or large your business may be.
Whether you’re an employer or employee, we hope this guide helps you understand this year’s changes in Employment Law. We’ll be providing more of these updates as the law evolves.
If you need further advice on Employment Law, then you can call us for legal help 7 days a week. Our expert solicitors call you at an allotted time and give you the expert advice you need, for just £68. Our service is for businesses and individuals, so call today if you’re in need of help. Reach us on 0203 002 4898.