The National Living Wage – Are You Ready?

Every few weeks we’re putting together a quick piece on Employment Law updates for all of you people out there that don’t have time to keep up to date.

National Living Wage introduced from 1 April 2016 – not a choice! National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage have different names but they mean the same thing – a legally required minimum level of pay related to a workers age. The penalty for failure to pay either of these will also increase from 100% of the underpayment to 200% of the underpayment on 1 April 2016.

National Minimum Wage increases have been announced for October 2016.

Age 25 and over: £7.20 – (This is the National Living Wage effective from April 2016 and so will not increase in October 2016)

Age 21 – 24: from £6.70 to £6.95

Age 18 – 20: from £5.30 to £5.55

Age 16 – 17: from £3.87 to £4.00

Apprentice rate: from £3.30 to £3.40

Please note – from 2017 the date for all minimum wage increase will be changed from October to April each year. This is to bring National Minimum Wage increases in line with National Living Wage increases.

New ACAS Guidance on Workplace Investigations
ACAS has published new detailed guidance on conducting workplace investigations covering all aspects of the process, including how to choose the investigator and handling reluctant witnesses.

Unfair dismissal cases are often lost because the employer did not carry out an investigation that was good enough in the circumstances. All employers must have written rules and procedures for investigations, disciplinary, grievances and appeals.

This all forms part of the legal floor that employers rely on whenever there is an issue with an employee and is essential to obtaining a fair dismissal.

Increases To Unfair Dismissal Compensation from 6 April 2016
The maximum compensatory award for an unfair dismissal claim will increase from £92,585 to £93,332. This is because the maximum basic award is increasing to £14,370; and the maximum compensatory award is increasing to £78,962.

Sunday working update
The Government plans to give power to local councils to extend trading hours in large shops on Sundays has met with strong opposition from both Conservative ministers and other parties and was subsequently vetoed.

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