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Agricultural Wages in England and Wales - Proposals for changes from October 2008

UK flagThe Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales met on 16-18 June 2008 to discuss proposals for a new Wages Order to come into force on 1 October 2008. Representations on any of the changes may be sent to the Secretary of the Board, no later than 21 July 2008. The proposals include the following changes:
  • an increase in the Grade 1 (Initial Grade) pay rate for workers over compulsory school age of 3.9%, from £5.52 to £5.74 per hour
  • increases in the pay rates for Grades 2-6 of 4.3%
  • an increase in the accommodation offset from £4.30 to £4.46 per day, the offset only to apply when at least 15 hours have been worked in a week, and a definition of what constitutes minimum standards of accommodation
  • new limits on the number of holiday days that may be bought out, and provisions to allow up to 2 weeks holiday to be taken between 1 April and 30 September
  • an increase in the maximum period of bereavement leave to four days, pro-rata to the number of days worked, and a new provision of up to two days for the death of a brother, sister, grandparent or grandchild
  • extension of the definition of a Grade 3 (Lead Worker) to include the role of Team Leader.
Further information: Agricultural Wage Negotiations 2008 - Proposals Only
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

International Tax Enforcement - Tax Information Exchange Arrangement with Bermuda

UK flagThe International Tax Enforcement (Bermuda) Order 2008 was made on 9 July 2008. It is the first comprehensive Tax Information Exchange Arrangement (TIEA) to be signed by the UK with an Overseas Territory and broadly follows the Model Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters that is provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Arrangement provides for the exchange , on request, of information, irrespective of whether the conduct being investigated would constitute a crime under the laws of the UK or Bermuda. The taxes covered by the Arrangement are taxes of every kind and description currently imposed by the UK and Bermuda, and any identical or substantially similar taxes introduced in the future. The UK previously concluded limited agreements providing for the exchange of information in relation to the taxation of income from savings with Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Montserrat, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. This Arrangement will enter into force once both the UK and Bermuda have completed the domestic legislative procedures necessary to give effect to the Arrangement. Further information: The International Tax Enforcement (Bermuda) Order 2008 Memorandum to the International Tax Enforcement (Bermuda) Order 2008 OECD Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matter
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

Talent Management Europe 2008

Talent Management Europe Talent Management Europe 2008, 1-2 October 2008 Successful Succession Spotlight Day, 30 September 2008 Amsterdam, Netherlands BME Global is proud to present TME 08, its 4th Annual European Talent Management Conference. TME 08 will dig deep into leading Talent Management Strategies by including even more extended international case studies, interactive sessions, focused workshops and head on problem solving debates than ever before. Our industry expert speakers will share strategies, processes and tools on key talent issues such as:
  • Global trends and demographics on talent
  • Developing talent and high-potentials
  • Challenges and pitfalls of talent management strategies
  • Gaining competitive advantage through diversity
  • Motivating and retaining organisational talent
  • Facilitating organisational change
  • Training and coaching
  • E-learning
  • RPO implementation
  • Leadership strategies
  • Creating HR business partnership
  • Succession planning
You will have the opportunity to learn from industry experts at: FUJITSU HERTZ ERICSSON UNOPS AVON MANPOWER HAYS PFIZER INGRAM MICRO PROGRESO SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC Successful Succession Spotlight Day, 30 Sept 2008 The highly anticipated additional feature at this year’s TME conference will be the Successful Succession Spotlight Day which will facilitate discussion on best practice examples, introduce in depth training sessions and provide practical advice on the implementation of robust succession planning practices in your organisation. Join us at this highly interactive spotlight day with an intensive programme delivered by high profile speakers from HERTZ, BT, INGERSOLL RAND and SLOVNAFT If you book now, through Paypershop, BME Global can offer you a special discount of rate of 15 %. To ensure you receive this reduction when booking, please insert TME PPS in the comments box online or tell your Sales person if calling us on 0034 93 303 6159. Click here for more information.

Juror Financial Loss Allowances - Increases from 2 June 2008

UK flagLast week’s news item is repeated here as it contained a minor error and the official document has now been posted on the HM Courts Service website. With effect from 2 June 2008, the maximum daily rates of the financial loss allowances available to jurors have been increased by 2.2%, as follows: Further information: Allowances Sheet
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

Dispute Resolution Procedures - Consultation on secondary legislation

UK flagThe Employment Bill, currently before Parliament, includes measures to repeal the statutory dispute resolution procedures and replace them with a new regime involving an Acas statutory code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Other related reforms, which would involve secondary legislation, are also being considered by the government and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) has published a consultation document that seeks views on the following changes. 1. Compromise agreements: For an agreement to be lawful, the employee must have received advice from an “independent advisor”. These currently include qualified lawyers, legal executives, certified trade union members and certified advice centre workers. They must be competent to give advice, have insurance or professional indemnity cover, and must be independent, i.e. not employed by the employer. The proposal is that the list of permitted advisors should be extended to include qualified members of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), many of whom already play a role in negotiating compromise agreements. 2. Interest on unpaid tribunal awards: Interest, at 8%, is currently charged on unpaid employment tribunal awards, although the date from which it is accrued is different in the case of awards for discrimination and equal pay cases than in other cases. The proposals are to allow the interest rate to “float”, e.g. at a defined rate above the Bank of England base rate, and to apply the accrual date used for discrimination and equal pay cases to all situations, namely from the day following the tribunal’s decision unless full payment is made within 14 days (as set by decisions of the European Court of Justice). 3. Recommendations in discrimination cases: Employment tribunals are currently able to make recommendations that an employer change policies and practices where it has been found to have discriminated against an employee, in order to prevent the discrimination continuing. The proposal is to extend that arrangement to situations where the employee has left the employment but other employees may also be vulnerable to the same kind of discrimination. There would not be any penalty if the employer did not make the recommended changes but failure to do so would be taken into consideration if another employee subsequently made a related claim of discrimination. 4. Determinations without a tribunal hearing: The proposal is that tribunal claims in cases claiming unlawful deductions from wages, breach of contract, redundancy pay, holiday pay and the national minimum wage could be considered by an employment judge without a hearing. Such a written determination would require the consent of the parties and there would be no monetary limit on eligible claims, other than for breach of contract cases which are limited to an award of £25,000. Decisions may be appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. 5. Holiday pay claims heard by judge sitting alone: An employment tribunal judge is able to hear cases alone in a number of jurisdictions, for example, national minimum wage cases. The proposal is to extend this arrangement to cases involving entitlement to statutory holiday pay. 6. Changes to tribunal procedures regulations: A number of minor amendments are proposed, related to interim relief hearings, time limits, default judgements, electronic communications, withdrawal of proceedings, equal value hearings and qualification periods for employment judges. 7. Transitional arrangements: The commencement date for the new dispute resolution procedures is expected to be 6 April 2009. The proposal is for the existing statutory procedures to apply to cases where the act leading to the grievance has started or taken place and/or the employer has contemplated taking or started disciplinary action prior to that date. 8. Tribunals Service transformation: A number of measures intended to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Tribunals Service, including the appointment and role of Tribunals Presidents, are proposed. The closing date for the consultation is 26 September 2008. Further information: Dispute resolution: secondary legislation consultation
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

P38(S) Student Employees - September increase in the personal tax allowance

UK flagIn response to a question, HMRC has provided the following statement concerning the way in which the September increase in the personal tax allowance will be applied to students for whom a current form P38(S) is in force. “A new form P38(S)(2008)(2) is being introduced for use on or after 7 September which reflects the increased Personal Allowance of £6035. Employers may have students who have already declared that their earnings for the year will not exceed £5435. These declarations can remain in place until the end of the year. If, following the introduction of the increased Personal Allowance, it becomes apparent that the student’s income will exceed £5435 but will not exceed £6035, they must complete a new P38(S)(2008)(2) or equivalent record. Revised forms will be available from the Employer Orderline from 13 August and on the Revised Employer CD-ROM 2008 (August) Edition.”
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

Statutory Sick Pay - Pilot study on electronically generated Med 3 medical statements

UK flagThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is running a pilot study to assess the use of electronically generated medical statements (form Med 3) as an alternative to the handwritten version that is currently used. The pilot study involves approximately 20 GP practices in Wales and only employers with employees registered at those practices will potentially be affected. These employers may receive electronically generated Med 3 forms from their employees between July and November this year and, as they are just as valid for SSP purposes as the handwritten ones, they should be processed in exactly the same way. The pilot version of form Med 3 is very similar to the existing version:
  • it is printed on one side of an A4 sheet of paper
  • there is a 2D barcode next to the name and address of the doctor
  • information will have been typed onto the form rather than handwritten
  • the form will be signed by the employee’s GP
  • there are two versions of the pilot form, one in English and one in Welsh
The pilot study forms part of work that is currently under way on the medical evidence that is available to employers. It runs from July to November and will conclude with the publication of a report at the end of the year. Any further actions or developments will then be considered. Further information: Electronically generated form Med 3 medical statements View the previous news item for Sick Pay
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

Simplified PAYE Deduction Scheme - September increase in the personal tax allowance

UK flagIn response to a question, HMRC has provided the following statement concerning the way in which the September increase in the personal tax allowance will be applied to employees who are paid using the Simplified PAYE Deduction Scheme. “We will be issuing new P12s showing the revised tax codes during the period 26-29 August. The P12s will be issued with a covering letter that explains to the employers what they have to do. We are not issuing a revised P16 booklet as tax tables used for these PAYE schemes are not changing. Every individual taxed under the Simplified PAYE scheme will get a revised P2, which will include an explanation of why they are getting a new tax code. Tax codes will be issued from 24 August. The allowances are backdated to April but the nature of the simplified scheme means that we will not expect these employers to deal with any repayments. Instead, HMRC will deal with any refunds due and we will be asking employers to send us the old P12 as soon as they have made the last payment using the old tax code. We recommend that employers send us the P12s by the end of September. We are looking to choose the earliest practical implementation date in September so that as many employees as possible can benefit from the changes in September.”
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

National Minimum Wage - Low Pay Commission to make further proposals by February 2009

UK flagThe Government has asked the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to prepare a further report on the National Minimum Wages (NMW). The increases recommended by the LPC in its February 2008 Report were accepted by the Government and come into force in October 2008. The next Report, due to be presented in February 2009, will recommend changes to the NMW in October 2009 and provisional changes to take effect in October 2010. The terms of reference for the Report also asks the LPC to review the current apprentice exemptions and advise whether they are still appropriate. Currently, apprentices are not entitled to the NMW if they are under age 19 or within the first 12 months of their apprenticeship. Further information: New Terms of Reference Consultation on the National Minimum Wage
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions

Statutory Sick Pay - Simplification of procedures

UK flagAmendments have been made to the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 that make it possible for the administration of SSP to be simplified in two respects from 27 October 2008. 1. Requirement to provide SSP history on form SSP1. Exclusion form SSP1 is completed by an employer and given to a sick employee when the employee does not qualify for SSP or has been receiving SSP but no longer qualifies to receive it. The information that the employer has to enter on the form to enable the employee to make a claim for incapacity benefit (IB) is specified in the Regulations. In order to determine entitlement to IB, the employer has to provide detailed information about the SSP already paid to the employee, the employee’s qualifying days and SSP payment history. From October 2008, IB will start to be replaced by a new benefit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). It will be paid to individuals who
  • have an illness or disability,
  • have not claimed IB within the past 2 years, and
  • are not entitled to SSP or are no longer entitled to SSP.
However, unlike IB, the level at which ESA is paid will not depend on the length of an employee’s sickness absence. ESA will be paid to new claimants from 27 October 2008 but IB will continue to be paid to individuals who retain entitlement to it under the linking rules. As a result, form SSP1 is being amended from October 2008 so that ongoing entitlement to IB or ESA is shown as the reason why the employer cannot pay SSP. As the employee’s SSP history is no longer relevant for ESA, the new form will no longer require the employer to enter the history details. The amended Regulations, therefore, require the employer to provide simply
  • the reason why SSP cannot, or can no longer, be paid, and
  • the date of the last day for which the employer was liable to pay SSP to the employee.
2. Requirement to issue form SSP1(L) to pass to new employer. If an employee falls sick after starting work for a new employer and had been paid SSP by the previous employer within the 8-week linking period, the new employer is required to take into consideration the length of the earlier period of sickness so that payment of SSP stops when the 28-week maximum is reached. To enable this to happen, the previous employer is required to issue a form SSP1(L) Leaver's Statement of Statutory Sick Pay if the employee asks for one. As the highest rate of IB is more than the rate of SSP, it would be in the interests of some employees to have their period of sickness with the previous employer included so that they can receive the higher rate of IB earlier than they would otherwise receive SSP. However, as it is not beneficial to most employees to ask for a form SSP1(L) and give it to their new employer, the form is hardly ever used. As a result, the government has decided to discontinue its use altogether from 27 October 2008. Any period of SSP with the previous employer will no longer be used by the new employer. An employee’s maximum 28-week entitlement to SSP will depend entirely on periods of incapacity for work with the new employer. Further information: The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 Explanatory Memorandum to the Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2008
The UK Payroll News is sponsored by HRD & Payroll Solutions
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