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National Living Wage 2017

The Government's National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and is currently set at £7.20 per hour. In April 2017 it will go up to £7.50. The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 25 still applies.
Key points
  • Most workers over school leaving age will be entitled to receive the NMW.
  • The NMW /NLW rate is reviewed annually by the Low Pay Commission.
  • HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC) can take employers to court for not paying the NMW/NLW.

October - need to know

October often brings exciting occasions and events including Halloween. However it also brings changes to the world of employment law.

As such employers should be aware of the following changes that are now in force:

1. Increase in the National Minimum Wage

Age                    Previous NMW        NMW from 1.10.15 
                              (per hour)                  (per hour)

Are you ready to share?

As the Conservative Party conference in Manchester commenced this week, Chancellor George Osborne made his announcement proposing shared parental leave be extended to working grandparents. 

Currently, the employee and the other parent are jointly entitled to a maximum of 50 weeks of SPL between them, subject to satisfying the eligibility conditions for entitlement to SPL. All of the 52 weeks of maternity leave, except the two-week period of compulsory maternity leave after birth, are available for sharing between both parents as SPL, less the weeks spent by the child's mother on maternity leave.

Important HR Updates

Holiday Pay

From the 1 July 2015 new holiday pay rules came into effect.  The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that employers must factor in overtime, commissions and bonuses when making holiday pay calculations instead of just basic pay.

If your employees receive irregular remuneration due to the inclusion of the above factors you will need to calculate holiday pay based on total earnings of the previous 12 weeks.

  • Guaranteed overtime requires the employer to offer overtime and the employee to work it.

Money doesn’t grow on trees

“Money doesn’t grow on trees, you need to go out and get a job” are words I’m sure my fellow teenagers can say they’ve heard more than once when complaining about needing money. Although for those of us that are ambitious enough to want to work, it’s not easy. The elusive ‘summer job’ is incredibly difficult to secure and schools need to do more to prepare us for the real world. I’ll be honest, I’m blessed to have a mother that works in human resources however, it shouldn’t have been up to her to teach me how to write a basic CV.

Holiday Hell

A client of mine has recently suffered the consequences of poor holiday management processes. Often my clients have too many employees off or requesting leave at the same time as a major bugbear, particularly during the summer months. These issues are relatively easy to manage by ensuring holiday leave policies are robust and time bound and outline fully any mandatory shutdown periods or peak time clauses restricting holiday.

But what happens when employees refuse to take their annual leave?  As a contractual clause I often encourage my clients stipulate that holidays not used in the year it is accrued cannot be taken forward and therefore they will lose their holiday entitlement; if there are no extenuating circumstances such as long term ill health problems.

Working Time Vs Travel Time

Over the last few months I have received multiple queries about Working Time Regulations and what is counted and not counted in respect of the travel element.

When calculating “working time” for the purposes of Working Time Regulations, any time spent by an employee travelling from their home to the first client’s premises and from the last client’s premises back to their home has never been deemed as part of their working hours.

However, this may all change!

Federación de Servicios Privados del Sindicato Comisiones Obreras vs.

A Brief Guide on ‘Fit for Work’ Service

The government has a new ‘Fit for Work’ Service which is being rolled out prior to a full implementation planned for May 2015. This is linked to the government stopping compensation paid to employers’ for statutory sick pay (SSP) as of April 2015. 

FFW Service will offer the following…

  • Free referrals for an occupational health assessment for employees who have reached, or whose GP expects them to reach, 4 weeks of sickness absence.
  • Free health and work advice through its website and a telephone advice line to help with absence prevention.

Holiday Pay and getting it Right!

Historically paid holiday has been based on ‘basic pay’ only in the UK. However, after a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision, this approach has been deemed not in line with European Working Time Directive. As such, employers now must take into account overall remuneration when calculating holiday pay for employees.

Under EU Law, full time employee’s statutory entitlement is four weeks holiday pay for each year. This works well as a general rule however variations around this can cause some confusion.

Biggest cash increase for low paid workers since 2008

As most business know national minimum wage increases every October. 2014 is no different though through a bidrecommended by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC) this year will see the biggest rise since 2008 for low paid employees. This decision is expected to boost the amount workers take home by as much as £355 per year. This increase will affect employees aged 21 and over.

Business Secretary Vince Cable officially stated “This will benefit over one million workers on national minimum wage and marks the start of a welcome new phase in minimum wage policy.