National Minimum Wage increases

  The Government have announced the latest rates for the national minimum wage, which will come into effect from 1 October 2015. The biggest rise is for apprentices. Despite the Low Pay Commission recommending a 7p rise (which would have been a 2.5% increase), the Government has said it will rise 57p from £2.73 to £3.30. This is a 20% increase. The Government has accepted the Low Pay Commissions recommendation in respect of other rate rises, which is no surprise given the forthcoming election. There are:     Current rate   Rate from 1st  October 2015 Age 21+   £6.50   £6.70 Age 18-20   £5.13   £5.30   Age 16-17     £3.79     £3.87     With the Government naming and shaming the worst offenders who do not pay with the national minimum wage, employers must make sure they comply with the changes. Back to legal...

ACAS Code on Disciplinary and Grievance

The ACAS code for the conduct of Disciplinary or Grievance hearings has been updated following an Appeal ruling in January. Most will not notice any change, but the code now specifies that an employee may be accompanied by anyone they choose as long as they are a trade union official, a certified rep, or a fellow worker. The updated code is available at the following link: http://www.acas.org.uk/dgcode Back to legal...

How much investigation is needed for a fair dismissal?

The Court of Appeal looked at whether an employer needs to investigate every single defence to an accusation of misconduct before deciding to dismiss. In this case, an employee was dismissed for claiming double the mileage on business trips than the AA said would be involved in the same journeys. The explanation given by the employee was that it was due to road works and diversions. The employer concluded that this was simply not plausible and dismissed.  The Employee brought a claim for unfair dismissal. The Court of Appeal have ruled that it is not necessary to investigate every single possible explanation. The employer needed to carry out as much investigation as was reasonable, not investigate every possible explanation.  The dismissal was therefore fair. This is a good case for employers, but care should be taken before failing to investigate an explanation, unless it is clearly not plausible. We have seen plenty of dismissals where tribunals have ruled the dismissal unfair because a particular explanation was not checked. The case can be read at the following link: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/94.html   Back to legal...