Fit for Work is a new, voluntary service that offers employees and employers access to occupational health support. It provides the services of health professionals to people in employment if they have been off for four weeks or more due to illness or related issues. Recent studies show that being out of work for long periods of time is damaging to health, social and financial well-being and the longer someone is off sick, the harder it is for them to get back to work. An intervention at around four weeks means they are more likely to return to work, rather than present a risk of a more lengthy absence or leaving employment altogether.
National Minimum Wage rates increased on 1 October. The standard adult rate to £6.70, the development rate for those aged 18-20 to £5.30, the young workers rate for those aged 16-17 to £3.87, and the apprentice rate to £3.30.
Changes to the Equality Act 2010 to remove the power of employment tribunals to issue wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases also came into force from 1 October.
What’s on the horizon?
In the Summer Budget in July, the Chancellor announced a ‘National Living Wage’ (effectively a new tier of the National Minimum Wage) for those age 25 and over from April 2016.
The Childcare Payments Bill became an Act on 17 December 2014. It will remove the present employer-supported childcare system and create a new scheme to support eligible parents with costs of childcare. This is expected to launch in 2017.
If any of the above topics are likely to have an impact on your business or are of interest to you, and you would like further advice, please get in touch.