Archive for Latest News

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – coming May 2018

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force across the EU, including the United Kingdom, on 25th May 2018 (and will stay implemented whether Brexit ever happens or not!).
The purpose of the Regulations is to impose conditions on organisations who handle an individuals data to ensure the individual knows what is

Thriving at work – The Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers

In January 2017 the Prime Minister commissioned an independent review into how employers can better support the mental health of all people currently in employment. The report was published in October 2017 and we’ve put together the reviews’ highlights and suggestions here (you can see the whole 84 page report here).

Launch of Employment Tribunal Fee Refund Scheme

On the 20th October 2017 the Government launched the first stage of a refund scheme for a selected group of 1000 people, who paid Employment Tribunal fees between 29 July 2013 and 26 July 2017. This follows the important July 2017 decision by the Supreme Court that fees charged by the Tribunal were “unlawful”.

Small Business Leaders claim a quarter of staff are under-performing

In a recent survey from Sandler Training, Small business leaders claim that more than a quarter of staff are under-performing.
According to a survey of 2,000 small business leaders, performance of more than a quarter of staff working at small businesses is poor and a skills shortage is believed to be one of the reasons

Guidance for staff with premature or sick babies

Staff with premature or sick babies – Acas have just produced a new Guide for Employers to help them manage staff in this situation, called ‘Workplace support for parents with premature or sick babies’ which you can see here.
Acas say with over 95,000 premature or sick babies born each year in the UK, this

Termination Payments – tax changes due in April 2018

The latest information on changes to the tax and National Insurance treatment of Termination Payments (payments you may make to an employee when they leave), that will be effective April 2018. (updated November 2017).
The Government started a consultation in July 2016 on proposed reforms to the way employees’ termination payments are taxed (e.g. redundancy

Parental Bereavement Leave coming soon

Parental Bereavement Leave may be available from 2020.
The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced to the UK Parliament in 2016 and will be considered again this Autumn at its Second Reading.
This would give a statutory entitlement of 2 weeks paid leave for bereaved parents, allowing them time to grieve for a

Employment Tribunal Fees declared unlawful on 26th July 2017!

Employment Tribunal Fees declared unlawful on 26th July 2017 by the UK Supreme Court. Employment Tribunal Fees were introduced, controversially, by the Government in July 2013 and after a 4 year battle through the UK Court system, the Union UNISON finally won their case to have the Fees stopped.
You can read all the details

More Gig economy ‘worker’ decisions – a bicycle courier working for Excel… plus Addison Lee

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. And at the bottom we give you the details of the autumn 2017 decision about Addison Lee, a London-based cab and courier company.
Brief facts of the

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……Updated December 2017.
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

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:


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,

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

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