Unpaid internships are often seen as a way of providing valuable industry experience to students. However, there has been an increasing global focus on whether such arrangements also enable the exploitation of individuals to perform unpaid work. In Hong Kong, while there are exemptions from the application of certain employment related laws which apply to categories of student interns, organisations that wish to host unpaid interns must carefully consider key legislation to ensure compliance. Continue reading
An important announcement in the Budget for employers to note was the decision to delay by a further year the introduction of employer Class 1A NICs on termination payments over £30,000, until April 2020.
There will also be changes to the availability of employment allowance in respect of NIC liability from April 2020 and to the apprenticeship levy from April 2019.
The new national minimum wage rates applicable from April 2019 have also been confirmed, with the rate for those aged 25 or over set at £8.21 an hour. (The Real Living Wage has also increased, to £9 an hour outside London and £10.55 an hour in London.)
Our tax team’s briefing on the Autumn Budget is available here. Our blog post on the proposed changes to off-payroll working rules from April 2020 is here.
HMRC has issued an update confirming that, with effect from 2 July 2018, where there has been a TUPE transfer of employees, all national minimum wage liabilities, including the full penalty amount, will now be enforced against the transferee employer, including penalties triggered by pre-transfer arrears. This highlights the importance of transferees obtaining an indemnity from the transferor to cover these liabilities where possible.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that on-call employees who have to remain available for work at a particular location but are expected to sleep will only be eligible for the national minimum wage in respect of hours when they are actually awake and carrying out work. This can be contrasted with employees who are actually working throughout their shift (such as a night watchman with periodic patrolling duties), who will be entitled to the national minimum wage for the whole shift albeit that they may be permitted to sleep in the intervals between tasks. Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court has been sought. (Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake)
From 6 April 2018, the cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award increases from £80,541 to £83,682 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) increases from £489 to £508. This gives a maximum unfair dismissal award of £98,922. Note that since 29 July 2013 there has been an additional cap on the compensatory award of 12 months’ pay.
The bands for injury to feelings awards have also been increased for claims presented on or after 6 April 2018; the lowest band starts at £900, the middle band at £8,600, and the highest band starts at £25,700 with a cap of £42,900 (save in exceptional cases).
From 6 April 2018 the weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £92.05 per week (from £89.35) and from 1 April 2018 the weekly flat rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £145.18 per week (from £140.98).
The national minimum wage rates increases from 1 April 2018. Workers of 25 years and older will be entitled to be paid a minimum national living wage of £7.83 per hour (increased from £7.50).
On 16 November 2017, the recently elected Governor of Jakarta stipulated the new provincial minimum wage of DKI Jakarta for 2018 in the amount of IDR 3,648,035.82 (or equivalent to approximately USD 270) through Governor Regulation No. 182 of 2017 (“GR 182”). Having completed consultation with employee and employer representatives, the anticipated new rate is an increase of 8.71% from the 2017 provincial minimum wage.
The draft amendment to the Labour Protection Act (the LPA) has now been approved by the National Legislative Assembly on 29 June 2017, and is awaiting Royal Assent to be given by the King. Once the Royal Assent is given, it will be published in the Royal Gazette and the amendment will become effective from the day following the publication date. Whilst the specific time frame is still unclear, there is a possibility that the draft amendment to the LPA will come into force later this year.
According to the draft, there are four key amendments being proposed: minimum wages rates of certain groups or types of employees, work rules, employees’ retirement and criminal penalty for employers. Failure to comply with certain provisions of the LPA will expose employers to criminal liability. Thus, employers should familiarise themselves with the draft amendment at the earliest possible chance.
The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices “Good Work” was published yesterday. It considers how technology platforms have impacted working practices and the rights of workers, and examines whether our current legislative and regulatory framework is fit for purpose. The Review focuses on the importance of quality work: “fair and decent work with realistic scope for development and fulfilment” and recommends to the government certain employment and tax reforms.