Archive for Latest News

Latest Gig economy ‘worker’ decision – a bicycle courier working for Excel

Following on from the recent decisions about Uber and CitySprint, now a bicycle courier working for Excel has been declared a ‘worker’ for employment rights and status reasons.
Brief facts of the case – Boxer v Excel Group Services Limited:

Andrew Boxer worked 9 hours a day on 5 days a week as

How to secure a Visa for an overseas worker

How do you secure a Visa for an overseas worker? This complicated process is explained in this in-depth article here from GSC Solicitors, entitled ‘We are a tech start up and have identified a potential candidate from overseas to fill very niche and specialist role in our business, what are the steps that I can

CitySprint bike courier is also a worker

Following the recent Uber ‘worker’ decision, another employment tribunal has found that a bike courier working for CitySprint is also a worker rather than self-employed, giving her rights to holiday pay, SSP, and the National Living/Minimum Wage.

Brief details of Dewhurst vs CitySprint
Maggie Dewhurst cycled up to 50 miles per day for CitySprint,

Problems with Recruitment and Retention? Look at the whole picture

If you are struggling to recruit and keep good staff and freelancers, it might be time to take a look at the whole picture of how you Recruit, Induct, Employ and manage staff to see if there are any improvements you could make.
A 2014 Study found that the average cost of replacing

Fluent English Language requirements for Public Sector Workers

In August 2015 the Government announced that public sector workers “must have fluent English if they work directly with the public in England, Scotland and Wales”, in order to ensure higher quality public services are provided to the public.
The new requirements form part of 2016 Immigration Act and the Government have issued guidance in

Immigration Skills Charge changes for Tier 2 migrants

From April 2017, employers who sponsor a Tier 2 migrant to work at their company, will face an annual charge (for as long as the migrant stays working for them):
For large companies this will be £1,000 per annum.
For smaller companies, charities and universities the charge will be £364 per annum.
There is not

Uber Tribunal – the details

More details from the Uber Tribunal, an important case for the fast-expanding ‘gig’ economy……At the end of October this year, an employment tribunal ruled that two Uber ‘test case’ drivers were not self-employed independent contractors but workers (for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the National Minimum Wage Act 1988, and the

HMRC investigates gig economy and use of self-employed workers

With the recent employment tribunal proceedings into how Uber employs its workers and possible investigations into the business model of courier company Hermes, HMRC is now launching the snappily titled ‘Employment Status and Intermediaries Team’ to investigate compliance by companies, in and outside the gig economy, in providing the correct employment rights, status, and benefits

Brexit – Employment Law implications

On October 12th 2016 The House of Commons Library issued a ‘short note’ that discusses the interaction between UK and EU employment law; the potential consequences of Brexit; and the Government’s position on the issue.
See the website page here >> or download the report here
EU employment law provides a minimum standard below which

Sleeping on the job: Is there any clarity about pay?

Care workers are in the news again, as Unison back 17 carers who worked for Sevacare in Haringey, North London, in a forthcoming Employment Tribunal claim about underpayment of the National Minimum Wage, including while sleeping at work.
So we examine here the latest position on whether you should be paid for sleeping while at

Direct Earnings Attachments – what do they mean for SME’s?

As an employer, you can be asked to deduct money from an employees pay, if they have been overpaid benefits by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This is called a Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA).
The first you’ll be aware of this is if you are contacted by the DWP Debt Management

Using an Umbrella Company

Updated 2016 (this article about using an Umbrella Company was previously in our ‘Workline’ database but is no longer published on the Crunch website).
Many freelancers and contractors choose to use the services of an Umbrella Company to deal with their finances – these are limited companies that employ contractors. If you choose to do

Grooming and Dress Code Policies

What can you do about bushy beards (grooming), tattoos and piercings and dress at work, if they don’t fit your business image?
If your staff are client/customer facing you will need to consider what is appropriate dress and if you need or want to be prescriptive about tattoos, piercings, grooming and facial hair

Sending employees & contractors abroad on overseas business

If you secure, or are trying to secure, overseas business, what do you need to consider when sending your contractors, your employees, or even just yourself abroad?
Clearly some countries have travel risks and many have business travel customs that you need to know about, so how do you prepare for your employees to have

Workplace Sweepstakes – there are laws governing it!

Perhaps I’m naive but I never considered there could be laws on workplace gambling (or workplace sweepstakes)!
Football, horse-racing, Wimbledon – just about any event can bring on the need for a sweepstake. But it’s best to take a few minutes to make sure your company isn’t breaking the law.
The law in England,

Details of the 2016 Trade Union Bill, effective 1st March 2017

During 2016 the Trade Union Bill, which the Government wanted as a major vehicle to reform existing industrial action legislation, progressed through Parliament.
The Bill had its first reading in Parliament in July 2015 and the Government consulted on it in the same year. It was subject to criticism from MPs and Peers,

Small Businesses – all you need to know about Lone Workers

We take a look what defines a lone worker, what businesses should do when employing lone workers, and your legal rights if you are a one. The term lone worker is used to describe any person who works “by themselves without close or direct supervision”. So a lone worker could be someone:

working

Mandatory Gender Pay Gap Reporting coming soon!

The 2015 Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (SBEEA) has amended The Equality Act 2010 to require employers with 250 or more employees (in the private or third sector) to publish details of their gender pay gap. Public sector bodies with more than 150 employees have been required to report on gender pay (as well

Is HR Software Making People Obsolete?

Is HR Software Making People Obsolete?
HR SoftwareIn a word, no. HR people don’t have anything to worry about, certainly not for the foreseeable future at least. However, they do need to be more open towards and willing to use new forms of technology. This is because they often make the job easier and also

Critical illness cover – what microbusiness owners need to know

As a freelancer or contractor you will have no sick pay (SSP) entitlement or employer-provided sickness benefits to fall back on if you are sick. So, what happens if you fall ill and cannot work? You could consider critical illness cover.
One option is income protection insurance that can protect you from any unforeseen

What does the Modern Slavery Bill mean for Businesses?

The Government have produced guidance on Transparency in Supply Chains to help employers meet their new responsibilities under the Modern Slavery Act.
The Act came into force from the 29th October 2015 and requires every commercial organisation that ‘carries on a business’ in the UK with a total annual turnover of £36 million or more

If your staff travel from home straight to a customer – working time rules have changed

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in September 2015 that travel time counts as working time. This applies when a worker does not have a fixed place of work but is required to travel from home at the beginning of the day to the premises of one his customers, and to return home from

Zero Hours Contracts – Guidance from the UK Government

The Government published Guidance on the use of Zero Hours Contracts on 15th October, which you can see here.
The Guidance gives examples of when using a zero-hour contract would be appropriate or inappropriate and suggest alternatives to these types of contracts that employers could use.

The Government says that appropriate use of

SME’s can reclaim at least 92% of Statutory Maternity Pay

Did you know that all employers can usually reclaim 92% of employees’ Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay and Shared Parental Pay?
And you can reclaim 103% if your business qualifies for Small Employers’ Relief. You get this if you paid £45,000 or less in Class 1 National Insurance in the last complete

Changes to Health and Safety Laws for the Self-Employed

Legislation called the Deregulation Bill becomes law on 1st October and will impact self-employed workers and contractors with regard to their health and safety obligations.
The existing Health and Safety at Work Act imposes a general duty on all self-employed people to protect themselves and others from risk to their safety, regardless of the type

The summer of consultation: what’s on the Government’s agenda

We look in brief here at all the consultation that is taking place this summer in regard to proposed new laws, and other laws that have been enacted recently that will affect SME’s, contractors and employees, including:

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act
The July Budget
Tax Free Childcare Scheme
The Trade Union

Shared Parental Leave and Pay – Employers Guidance

You can find a technical guide here from the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation – for employers to consider when implementing policies on shared parental leave and pay. As this is an exceedingly complicated area you may need it!

The new Living Wage – what does it mean for SME’s

With the surprise announcement in the Summer Budget that the Conservative government will introduce a compulsory national Living Wage from 2016, we thought we’d look at what this means for SMEs in our article here.

What will the new Living Wage mean?

This will be a ‘premium’ on top of the existing national

Strong Leadership is Essential for Fast Growing SMEs

If you are running a SME, the chances are you have plans to grow and in the current financial environment are already doing so. This is good news because it means a bigger customer base, more profits and better security for your staff.
When your business starts to really take off and grow it

The Gangmasters Licencing Authority’s extended remit could impact SMEs

The Gangmasters Licencing Authority (GLA) has been in the news a lot lately, so we thought we’d look at what they do and the recent suggestions for the extension of their existing powers in our post here.
The GLA was set up to protect workers from exploitation and it is a non-departmental public body

How the drug driving bill will affect employers

The Drug Driving (England and Wales) Regulations 2014 came into force on 2nd March 2015 and if you are an Employer whose staff drive company vehicles then you will be affected. We look at what this means for Employers here.

What does the Act include?
Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 made

Are you an Employment Intermediary business?

You may not know if your business qualifies as an employment intermediary, and we couldn’t blame you!
But it’s extremely important you know if you are affected by the legislation that was included in the Finance Bill 2014 concerning false self-employment (so-called Onshore Employment Intermediaries). Besides bringing new tax and National Insurance considerations for both

E-Cigarettes at work, should you allow them?

The law on E-Cigarettes?
The current smoking laws do not apply to e-cigarettes. Currently electronic cigarettes are only covered by consumer product regulations, although from July 2016 they will come under the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive.
Therefore, employers are currently free to decide if and where e-cigarettes can be used on their premises or

Everything SMEs need to know about the Fit for Work service

We’ve updated our advice about the Government’s Fit for Work Services that will be rolled out across England, Wales and Scotland during 2014. We look at how the scheme will work, referrals, assessments, and ‘discharge’ from the service; obligations; plans and fit notes.
In early 2013, the Government unveiled details of a scheme aimed

Finding details of Employment Tribunal cases

Updated 2017.
Employment Tribunal judgments are rarely made freely available to the public, however The Ministry of Justice launched a new online database in February 2017, which you can access here, meaning that in future, employment tribunal decisions from England, Scotland and Wales will be easily searchable.
At present, the database only contains about

How to incentivise your staff with a bonus scheme

A good, fair and well-designed bonus scheme can be a perfect way to increase your staff’s productivity and so your bottom line. If you decide to set one up, what do you need to consider? We look at all the details here.
When designing your scheme the first thing you have to consider

Acas publish new Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance

Acas published an updated Code of Practice for dealing with Disciplinary and Grievance issues on Wednesday (11 March 2015), which you can see here.
The new Code has been updated to clarify workers’ statutory rights to be accompanied by a trade union representative or fellow worker at a disciplinary or grievance hearings, following the EAT

Finance Bill/Intermediaries Legislation 2014

If you are an ‘intermediary’ business who provides Contractors and workers to your clients, you need to regularly report to the HMRC about the ‘workers’ you provide, who you do not pay PAYE/NIC’s for, from the first Quarter of 2015 (6th April – 5th July).
Your first report needs to be with the

Freelancers what are your rights if a Client cancels your contract

Freelancers and contractors will generally have no legal right to reinstatement if their Client terminates or chooses not to renew their contract.
However, you may be due a paid notice period from your client if they end the contract early, or a sum of money may be owed to you on early termination as compensation

Important Employment Law Changes expected in 2015

With so many important employment law cases being heard soon for UK Startups and SMEs, we take a look at the cases that are expected to be heard in 2015, and what the impact might be for businesses taking on employees this year in our article here, including:

Employment Tribunal Fees
The meaning of

Obesity can be a Disability in certain circumstances

In December 2014 the European Court of Justice found that Obesity can be a disability in certain circumstances.
However, they did not declare obesity to be a protected characteristic against which all discrimination is prohibited. We look at all the details here.
When considering if a worker is disabled or not – for

Unison lose second bid to overturn tribunal fees

We look at the details of Unison’s second failure to overturn the employment tribunal fees regime here.
On 29th July 2013 the Government introduced fees for claimants (usually employees) to bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal, to challenge their Employer when they believe they have broken the law.
On announcement of the fee system,

New right to shared parental leave in 2015 (SPL)

The Government are introducing a new shared parental leave and pay system for children born, or matched / adopted, on 5th April 2015 or after; in England, Scotland and Wales and we look at all the details of this complicated legislation in our article here.
This new Shared Parental Leave (SPL) system is to allow both

Calculating holiday pay (updated 2016)

Holiday pay must now include payments for regular overtime and contractual results-based commission.
Updated to look at October 2016’s Court of Appeal decision in Lock vs British Gas and we look at October’s 2014 Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision that says overtime should be included when calculating holiday pay (the combined cases of Bear Scotland

AWR – end-hirer liable for underpayment of an agency worker

Since the Agency Workers Regulations were introduced on 1st October 2011 very few cases have yet come to Employment Tribunal (the ones that have are detailed here), but in September 2014 an Employment Tribunal found that the end-hirer of the agency worker, not the agency that actually employed the worker, had to compensate the worker

Deciphering the false self-employment legislation for contractors

The false self-employment (Onshore Employment Intermediaries) legislation, which came into effect on 6th April 2014, is still causing confusion for Contractors – there have been no tribunal or court cases about it yet, so we don’t know how HMRC’s legislation will be interpreted.
However, some light was shed on understanding the legislation by a first-tier

Finance Bill will affect some self-employed

The Finance Bill has been subject to much speculation since it was announced in Autumn 2013. As part of the legislation contained within the bill, the ‘False’ Self-Employment (Onshore Employment Intermediaries) legislation will come into effect on 6th April 2014. It will affect self-employed people who are employed via intermediaries such as employment agencies, payroll

Government funded Occupational Health Service for SMEs

In early 2013, the government unveiled details of an occupational health scheme aimed to save Employers money and help tackle long-term sickness absence in the workplace.  Figures from 2011 estimated that sickness costs UK Employers £9 billion a year.
This summer the Government announced the new scheme – the Health and Work Service – would

Antenatal Leave for fathers/partners available from 1st October 2014

For a long time pregnant employees have had a legal right to paid time off for antenatal appointments and from 1st October 2014, prospective fathers/partners, including same sex partners, of pregnant women and intended parents in surrogacy arrangements, will have the right to take time-off to accompany their partner to two antenatal appointments.
Employees do

Can love and relationships in the office work?

It is not uncommon for romances to blossom between work colleagues – generally this causes little problems but with several cases hitting the news recently, we thought we’d take a look at what can sometimes be a quagmire for employees, employers and freelancers. It can be difficult for employers to object to workplace relationships, although

The Human Resources Consultancy service for small and medium sized, creative, UK businesses

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