New Legislation - April 2018

April 11, 2018

 

 

 

Current Legislation

 

Recently Implemented or Due Imminently

 

 

 

New Check Off Arrangements to Take Effect

10 March 2018

 

The draft Trade Union (deduction of union subscriptions from wages in the public sector) Regulations 2017 implement new arrangements for check off for public sector employees. The check off process allows union subscriptions to be paid by an employer direct to a union on behalf of it employees via salary deductions. Where a contract of employment or collective agreement contains arrangements for check off, the arrangements can only continue where the Trade Union meets the administrative costs in respect of making deductions and workers have the option to pay their Trade Union subs by other means.

 

Statutory Maternity Pay (and other Family- Related Statutory Pay Rates) Increase

1 April 2018

 

The Rates of Statutory maternity pay, paternity pay and adoption pay and shared parental pay increase from £140.98 to £145.18 per week.

 

UK National Minimum & National Living Wage Rates

1 April 2018

 

Current-

  • £7.50 per hour for ages 25 and over.

  • £7.05 per hour for ages 21 to 24.

  • £5.60 per hour for ages 18 to 20.

  • £4.05 per hour for school leaving age to 17.

 

Changes to the Rates

 

25 and over        £7.83                 £7.50               £7.20                  £7.20

21 to 24-             £7.38                 £7.05               £6.95                  £6.70

18 to 20-             £5.90                 £5.60               £5.55                  £5.30

Under 18-           £4.20                 £4.05               £4.00                  £3.87

Apprentice-        £3.70                 £3.50               £3.40                  £3.30

 

 

Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting

4 April 2018

 

Although The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 came into focus last year, it is worth remembering that affected employers (those with a headcount over 250) have to report the required information on their gender pay gap by 4 April 2018.

Affected employers who have no already taken steps to comply with the Regulations need to be acting now, since the information relates to a snapshot date of:

 

  • 5 April 2017 for private and voluntary sector employers

  • 31 March 2017 for public sector employers (England, Wales and Scotland, excluding Northern Ireland)

Reporting is required annually, and employers must ensure the data is kept for a minimum period of three years.

This increases to £11,850 from £11,500. Those with an L suffix Tax Code will therefore receive a 35 point increase in their tax code. For the claiming the Marriage Allowance their tax codes will also increase (suffix M by 39 points and suffix N by 31 points).

 

Increase In Universal Allowance (Previously Known as Personal Allowance) for all UK Payrolls including Scotland

6 April 2018

 

This increases to £11,850 from £11,500. Those with an L suffix Tax Code will therefore receive a 35 point increase in their tax code. For the claiming the Marriage Allowance their tax codes will also increase (suffix M by 39 points and suffix N by 31 points).

 

Higher Rate Tax Threshold

6 April 2018

 

This will increase to £46,350 from £45,000, meaning the Basic Rate Tax Threshold is now increased to £34,500 from £33,500 (£46,350 - £11,850). This increase in the Higher Rate Tax Threshold does not apply to Scotland.

 

Statutory Benefit Rates 

April 2018  

 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSp)                              £116.00                    £92.05 (6th April 2018)

For weeks (or start of park weeks) commencing Sunday 2nd April 2018)                                         

Shared Parental Leave Pay (ShPP)              £116.00                     £145.18

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)                      £116.00                     £145.18

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)                       £116.00                     £145.18

Statutory Paternal Pay (SSP)                        £116.00                     £145.18

New State Pension (Full Rate)                 £116.00                          £159.55 

Old State Pension (Cat A or B)                                                       £129.95

 

             

                                                         

National Insurance Changes

6 April 2018

 

As a consequence of the increase in the Higher Rate Tax Threshold, the National Insurance Upper Earnings Level (UEL) and its associated levels of Upper Secondary Threshold (UST) and Apprentice Upper Secondary Threshold (AUST) Levels also increases, to £46,350.

The National Insurance Lower Earnings Level (LEL) has also increased slightly, to £116 per weeks (up from £113 per week).

These rates will also apply in Scotland.

 

Increase in Auto Enrolment Contributions

6 April 2018

 

Moved from October 2017. This will make minimum contribution rates a combined total of 5% - a minimum of 2% from the employer and the balance from the employee. A further increase to 3% is planned to take effect in April 2019.

 

Prevention of Illegal Working- Employment Allowance

Expected April 2018

 

As a further deterrent to the employment of illegal workers, the Government is set to introduce legislation which will ban an employer from claiming the Employment Allowance for one year if they have been found to have hired an illegal worker.

Currently up to £3,000 a year can be claimed by employers against their NI liability to help them grow their business. The allowance rolls on automatically, with no need to make a fresh claim every year.

 

 

Taxation of Termination Payments- PILON Payments

Expected April 2018

 

From 6 April any PILON payments (Pay In Lieu of Notice) will be subject to Tax and National Insurance contributions regardless of whether there is any specific clause in the contract of employment.

 

 

Executive Pay Reforms

Expected June 2018

 

There has long been criticism of the level of executive pay and how this compares to the average wage level within businesses. The Government has announced its intention to force all listed companies to publish and justify the difference between their executive pay and the average wage of its UK workforce. In addition, any listed company where there has been significant shareholder opposition to executive pay will have their names published in the public register.

Listed companies will need to report on the ratio of executive to workforce pay annually starting from June 2018.

 

Taxation of Termination Payments

Postponed from April 2018 to April 2019

 

The Government is consulting on changes to termination payments which will see a widening of payments which quality for Income Tax and National Insurance.

Termination payments in excess of £30,000 will be subjected to employer Class 1A Insurance contributions. Employee payments in excess of £30,000 will still attract tax and no National Insurance contributions, as they do now. The abolition of Class 2 NICs and changes of Sporting Testimonials have also been postponed.

 

 

General Data Protection Regulation

25 May 2018

 

The GDPR is an EU- wide instrument that will apply to all member states.

Although Brexit is in process, the UK will not leave the EU by the time the Regulation comes into force, therefor the legislation will apply to UK businesses and is likely to be transposed into whatever UK laws follows the country’s exit from the EU. Aimed at protecting EU citizens, the Regulation is expected to:

  • Give individuals easier access to their own data and the ‘right to be forgotten’

  • Give individuals the right to know if their data has been hacked

  • Require employers to pay a fine of up to 4% of global turnover for breaching new rules

  • Require employers in certain circumstances to appoint a data protection officer

  • Require consent for the processing of children’s data.

Seven out of ten businesses are not adequately prepared for the GDPR, which some mistakenly believe that Brexit will thwart the induction of the Regulation.

 

 

Rates and Changes from April  

 

 

A new rate will apply to the next pay reference period that begins on or after the date:

  • A rate increase begins

  • An employee reaches a new age bracket.

For example: an employee paid on the 20th of each month will start to receive the new rate of minimum wage from 21st April onwards.

These rates are reviewed annually by the Low Pay Commission.

If a worker receives about NMW there is no legal obligation on an employer to increase their pay when the NMW rate increases.

 

Exemptions to the rates

 

There are a number of people who are not entitled to the NMW or NLW.

The NMW and NLW do not apply to:

  • Self- employed people

  • Volunteers or voluntary workers

  • Company directors

  • Members of the armed forces

  • Family members, or people who live in the family home of the employer who undertake household tasks.

  • Work experience students, depending on the length of their placement.

All other workers including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers must receive at least NMW or NLW.

Some people may need to have adjustments made to their NMW if they live in accommodation, which is linked to their employment or owned by their employer. For further information, go to gov.co.uk-national-minimum-wage-accommodation.

 

Apprentices

The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices ages:

  • Under 19

  • 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices aged 19 or over in their second year of apprenticeship must receive the national minimum wage or national living wage rate their age entitles them to.

 

Agricultural Workers

 

Agricultural and horticultural workers in England employed after 1st October 2013 must be paid the appropriate NMW OR NLW rate (see above).

If they were already employed before 1 October 2013, they will be entitled to the same terms and conditions set under their contract of employment. This can include overtime rates, agricultural wages, sick pay or dog allowance. DEFRA will continue to handle complaints about non-payment or non- compliance for up to six years after the breach.

Agricultural and horticultural workers in Scotland must be paid the highest rate that applies to them from the Agricultural Minimum Wage, the NMW or NLW.

Agricultural and horticultural workers in Wales must be the highest rate that applies to them from the Agricultural Minimum Wage.

 

A worker is not eligible for the NMW or the NLW if they are a member of the employer’s family and:

  • Resides in the family home of the employer

  • Shares in the tasks and activities of the family.

A worker is not eligible for the NMW or the NLW if they reside in the family home of the employer and:

  • Is not a member of that family, but is treated as such in regards to the provision of living accommodation, meals and the sharing of tasks and leisure activities

  • Is not liable to any deductions and does not make any payment to the employer, or any other person in respect to the provision of the living accommodation and meals

  • If the work has been done by a member of the employers family, it would not have been treated as work.

 

 

Non- payment of the NMW or NLW

 

It is against the law for the employers to pay workers less than NMW or NLW, or to falsify payment records.

If an employer doesn’t pay the correct rate, the worker should talk to their employer and try to resolve the issue formally first. If an informal approach does not work an employee has the option of raising a formal written complaint (also known as a grievance).

If the situation cannot be resolved internally a worker could choose to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal. For most tribunal claims there is a three-month time limit a claim to be submitted. However, this time limit does pause if Early Conciliation is taking place. For more information, go to Employment Tribunals.

Alternatively, a worker can make a complaint to HMRC who will investigate. This can be done anonymously if the worker wishes. If HMRC find that an employer hasn’t paid at least the NMW, the can send a notice of arrears plus a penalty for not paying the correct rate of pay to the worker.

 

The maximum fine for non-payment will be £20,000 per worker. However, employers who fail to pay will be banned from being a company director for up to 15 years.

A worker can either pursue the issue through the Employment Tribunal or a complaint to HMRC. They cannot do both.

 

The difference between the National Living Wage and the Living Wage

 

The government’s NLW is different from the Living Wage, which is an hourly rate of pay and updated annually.

The Living Wage is set independently by the Living Wage Foundation and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

 

 

 

Health and Safety Legislation – Your Guide

 

 

Legislation Roundup-

 

Example Cases

 

 

 

 

Legislation- Section 1 (1) of the Employers Liability (Compulsory) Insurance Act 1969

 

Prosecutions-   2

 

Fines- £2,500 plus £17,430 in costs

 

Prison Sentences-

 

Industries Affected- Building and construction; Manufacturing

 

Breaches- Failure to provide employers liability (compulsory) Insurance (ELCI)

 

Case- A Manchester Linen manufacturer has been fined for failing to provide Employers Liability (Compulsory) Insurance (ELCI). Following an anonymous tip- off the HSE carried out an inspection of the company where it became clear the company did not have such insurance.

The company pleaded guilty and were fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £490 in costs.

 

The HSE inspector said:

“Every employer need to ensure they have Employers Liability (Compulsory) Insurance in place to insure against liability for injury or disease to their employees arising out of their employment. Where employers are found to be in breach of this requirement, they will be held accountable by HSE.”

 

                                                                                           

 

  

 

Legislation- Regulation 8 (1) of the Gas Safety (Instillation and Use) Regulations 1998

 

Prosecutions- 1

 

Fines- £4,298 in costs

 

Prison Sentences- 200 hours unpaid community service.

 

Industries Affected- Building and Construction

 

Breaches- Carrying out building work without considering risks to residents.

 

Case- A North West building firm and its director have been fined after a family of four were hospitalised due to exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) at their home.

The firm built the roof of a new extension over the existing flue to the boiler, leading to it venting into an enclosed space and causing toxic and odourless gases (including carbon monoxide) to build up and enter the house.

The company were fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,289, while the director pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid community service. The case was also prosecuted under Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

 

 

                                                                                        

 

Legislation- Regulations 36 (2) and 36 (3) of the Gas Safety (Instillation and Use) Regulations 1998

 

Prosecutions- 1

 

Fines- £5,000 plus £5,524 in costs

 

Industries Affected- Property, Estates and Housing

 

Breaches- Landlord failed to maintain gas appliances.

 

Case- A landlord from Cornwall has fined after failing to maintain gas appliances at his rental properties.

An Investigation found appliances has not been services for at least four years at two properties.

This case was also prosecuted under Regulation 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. 

 

 

     

                                                                                    

Legislation- Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

 

Prosecutions- 41

 

Fines- £4,778,500 plus £232,514 in costs.

 

Prison Sentences- Six-month sentence suspended for two years; eight-month sentence, plus additional four sentence for environmental offences and a previous suspended sentenced to be served concurrently.

 

Industries Affected- Agriculture and farming; Building and construction; Distribution; Engineering; Health and social care; Local Authority; Manufacturing; Storage and warehousing; Transport; Waste and recycling.

 

Breach- Failure to manage the risk of Hand Arm Vibration; work not properly planned and lack of thorough pre-fill checks; employee was untrained, the supervisor was unfamiliar with the current expected safety techniques and the appropriate equipment had not been provided to the worker; no suitable safeguards to prevent risk of crushing injuries; failure to carry our correct control measures and safe working practices; failure to take the appropriate safety measures to prevent release of a toxic and flammable chemical; failure to conduct adequate planning or training and written instructions; failure to ensure correct equipment was used; failure to ensure the safety and welfare of employees; failure to cater for risk of valve exploding under excessive pressure.

 

Case- A Swansea-based company and is owner have been sentenced after a number of safety failing following an arson attack that resulted in a fire and explosions of used gas cylinders. Despite repeated visits to the site involving both verbal and written advice from the HSE, a further visit found the site unattended, the gate left open, and the site full of waste and debris including loose gas cylinders. The standards at the site were wholly inadequate, with no significant action taken to comply with the law. The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £8,000 costs.

The director was sentenced to eight months imprisonment in relation to these offences and a further four months in relation to environmental offences brought by Natural Resources Wales (NRW). He was also disqualified from a director or manager of a company for seven years.

 

                                                                                            

 

 

Legislation- Regulation 4 (1) of the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1992

 

Prosecutions-

 

Fines-

 

Prison Sentences-

 

Industries Affected- Waste and Recycling

 

Breaches- Failure to adequately segregate pedestrian and vehicle movement or carry out an on-site Health and Safety inspection.

 

Case- A Horley- based waste collection and recycling company has been fined after a worker died after being struck by a reversing telehandler. An investigation found the company had failed to address the management of large vehicle movements on its site and had not carried out an on-site health and safety inspection. In addition, the driver of the telehandler involved in the incident had not received any training in operating this vehicle. This case was also prosecuted under Regulation 17 (1) of the Workplace (Health and Safety Welfare) Regulations 1992 under which the company was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,968.

 

 

Legislation- Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

 

Prosecutions-  1

 

Fines- £30,000 plus £6,800

 

Prison Sentences-

 

Industries Affected- Agriculture and Farming

 

Breaches- Failure to ensure effective measures to stop the movement of machinery.

 

Case- A vegetable grower has been sentenced after a worker became entangled in netting being removed from a crop using a tractor- mounted hydraulic net-winding machine.

The worker was pulled onto the rotating reel and his head hit the metal frame, causing a head injury and concussion.

An investigation found the company failed to properly plan the activity and a safe system of work was not defined. The machine was not fitted with a trip device and no emergency stop.

The case was also prosecuted under Regulations 11 (1) and 16 (1) of the Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

                                                                                         

 

Legislation- Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005

 

Prosecutions- 3

 

Fines- £2,400 plus £15,082 in costs

 

Prison Sentences- Six-month sentence suspended for 18 months; eight months suspended sentence, plus 200 hours unpaid community service.

 

Industries Affected- Building and Construction

 

Breaches- Unsafe work environment following removal of guard rails; failure to provide adequate edge protection; inadequate fall protection measures in place.

 

Case- A roofing contractor has been sentenced after workers were left at risk of falling from unprotected roof edges when, due to the presence of a conservatory structure, the company only erected a partial scaffold at the rear.

The lead contractor and business owner pleaded guilty and, as well as receiving an eight-month suspended prison sentence and 200 hours unpaid community service, was also ordered to pay £5,800 costs.

                                                          

                                                                                   

Legislation- Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

 

Prosecutions-  6

 

Fines- £169,667 plus £50,229 in costs.

 

Industries Affected- Building and Construction

 

Breaches- Failure to manage risks when staff worked at height, suitably maintain work equipment and control risks from electrical systems; failure to suitably risk assess work at height; Failing to ensure roof work had correct edge protection to prevent falls from height.

 

Case- A Hampshire-based company has been fined after a 42- year old man fell seven meters from the roof to the ground and later died of head injuries. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2015 and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,500.

 

This case was also prosecuted under Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

 

                                                                                         

Legislation- Regulation 17 (1) of the Workplace (Health and Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

 

Prosecutions- 2

 

Fines- £650,000 plus £3,300 in costs

 

Industries Affected- Waste and Recycling

 

Breach- Failure to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks arising from vehicle movement.

 

Case- A clothing and textile recycling company has been prosecuted after a 89- years old worker was fatally injured by a reversing delivery vehicle. The worker was walking from the weighbridge towards the smoking shelter in the rear yard when a visiting driver reversed from the weighbridge to deliver goods and struck the worker. There were no measures in place to adequately segregate pedestrians from moving vehicles and there was no safe system of work in place to ensure vehicles could manoeuvre safely.

 

The company was fined £650,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3,300.

 

 

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