November 2023 Update: What’s New, Useful, and Interesting

We’re rounding up all the things you need to know right now about employing and looking after your people. Plus, there’s not one but two associate spotlights who can both help you with different types of pains in the neck…

And, PLEASE make sure you scroll right down to the bottom to read all about a FREE lunchtime webinar I’m co-hosting later this month. This came about when we realised there is no one-stop source to discover what all the legal requirements are when you’re employing people. So, myself and Health & Safety expert, Helen, have pulled together the full shebang and hope lots will find it a useful way to spend a lunchtime. Plus, you get to see my face for 60 minutes – so how can you not sign up for this one?

Need to know

National Minimum Wage Increases

As of 1st April 2024 the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is to increase to at least £11 per hour. The exact rate is expected to be confirmed between now and Christmas.
This means, if you pay your workers the national living wage rate and they work 40 hours a week, they will get a pay rise of at least £1,200 per year (subject to normal deductions). So, if you’re planning next year’s budgets this is definitely something you need to bear in mind.

Also, in 2019, the Government announced an intention to reduce the age threshold for the national living wage to 21 (from 25) within 5 years. In 2021, they reduced it to 23 – so the final reduction to 21 years would need to take place in April 2024.

Illegal Worker Penalties to Increase

Warning – penalties for employing illegal workers is increasing from early next year to as much as £45,000 per worker and up to £60,000 for repeat breaches. This is another reason why you must carry out Right To Work (RTW) in the UK checks before you hire – or at the very latest on their first day of employment.

These checks are a legal requirement and failure to do them can also result in penalties of up to £20,000 per employee – even if your employee isn’t illegal. Mint HR are all over this. We can carry out online right to work verifications for our clients and as an ad-hoc service to all other businesses. And, if you haven’t done your teams’ checks already – it’s better to do them retrospectively than not at all.

Employer Contribution Pension Shortfall During Stat Leave

It’s come to our attention (thanks to a client’s accountant!) of a grey area where employers haven’t been paying the right employer pension contributions. It’s occurring when their people are on either maternity, paternity and or adoption leave and both the regulator and HMRC are keen for businesses to check their records and ensure any shortfall in contributions is rectified.

The guidance states to pay in line with earnings, however what the regulator is now saying is that employers should be paying the full 4% contribution based on their average earnings before the maternity/paternity/adoption leave period. This means you may need to make back-payments into pension pots, with the option for the employee to also add in based on average earnings info.

If this affects you, please speak to Mint or your accountant for more information.

Pension Auto-Enrolment Age and Earnings to Be Lowered

Workers must soon be auto-enrolled in a pension scheme from the age of 18 instead of 22 – with the lower earnings limit also being scrapped.

The changes in the Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Act 2023 will significantly impact businesses with younger workers and those in lower-pay roles. No date has been set for the implementation of this but it is advised that you factor these in when planning long-term finances.

Claims Are Up

The number of claims by UK employees for failure to be provided a written contract or statement of terms has gone up by a staggering 186%. And claims for failure to inform and consult on a TUPE transfer are up 54% too this year. Please don’t risk being slapped with a claim and a costly penalty for not following the correct processes when dealing with your people. Instead, speak to Mint and we will tell you what you need to do and can support you every step of the way if required.

Right to Request Predictable Hours Gets The Go-Ahead

The number of The Predictable Terms and Conditions Act 2023 has been passed – meaning temporary, zero hours and agency workers can request a more predictable working schedule.  The Act allows workers to engage in a conversation with their employer about their working patterns without fear of negative consequences. Employers will have to process requests within one month. Requests can still be refused if based on legitimate grounds such as costs, customer demand, impact on business operations and lack of work.

Contact Mint Outsourced HR in Yorkshire

From Onboarding in Huddersfield to Employee Handbooks in Hull or Grievances in Sheffield to Mediation in Manchester, nowhere is too far for the team at Mint HR.


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