In the 2018 Policy Address on 10 October 2018, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR Carrie Lam announced several key proposals in respect of benefits available to employees under Hong Kong law. Continue reading
- The Government Equalities Office has published the findings of a commissioned study (here) concluding that the clearest and most accessible way of presenting gender pay gap figures is to display them visually as coins or as the amount which women earn for every £1 men earn (rather than percentages). The latter approach has now been added to the data on the government’s pay gap website, which also now includes bar charts to show the gender split by pay quartile and displays an employer’s data all on one page. The study also found that benchmarking improved comprehension, so may lead to pressure on the government to add visual benchmarking to the published data in future.
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 31 July 2017 the Tripartite Alliance issued the Tripartite Standard on Employment of Term Contract Employees (First Standard), (Tripartite Standards). The Tripartite Standards are the first of five new standards seek to encourage fair and progressive labour practices in certain areas. The remaining four standards are expected to be put into place over the next few months.
South Korea's new President Moon Jae-In has announced the Government's support for greater work-life balance for Korean employees, including proposals to curb Korea's notoriously long work days, broaden parental leave and ease the burden of childcare costs.
Following President Moon Jae-In's election on 9 May 2017, the Korean Government has pledged to introduce a variety of measures to help curb long working hours and improve work-life balance for ordinary Koreans.
Changes to shared parental leave and adoption leave entitlements as well an increase in the re-employment age ceiling will take effect from 1 July 2017. This is a good juncture for companies to review their employment policies to ensure they will be compliant.
From 6 April 2017 UK employers with an annual pay bill of or over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy at a rate equivalent to 0.5% of their payroll costs, subject to an offset allowance of £15,000. Employers in England that pay the levy will be able to access funding through a digital service which is expected to open from 1 May 2017. Updated guidance is available here. The offence of wrongly advertising work as a statutory apprenticeship also came into force on 1 April 2017.
From 6 April 2017, the cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase from £78,962 to £80,541 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £479 to £489. This gives a maximum unfair dismissal award of £95,211. Note that since 29 July 2013 there has been an additional cap on the compensatory award of 12 months’ pay.
- GEO new guide for employers on Recruitment and Retention of Transgender Staff.
- Guidance from the Committee on Standards in Public Life on how public authorities and companies offering outsourced public services can maintain ethical standards, including recommendations to implement a code of conduct, training and performance reviews.
- Acas Guide on Disability discrimination: key points for the workplace.
- TUC guide on time off and pay for intended parents through surrogacy .
- PCAW new Best Practice Guide and Report based on the insight and experience of organisations signed up to their First 100 campaign implementing the Whistleblowing Commission’s Code of Practice.
The Fair Work Amendment Act 2015 (Cth) (FW Amendment Act) came into force on 27 November 2015 and amends the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).
This article summarises the key changes to the FW Act made by the FW Amendment Act and considers further reform that may be proposed by the Federal Government.