Monthly Archives: March 2018

Apprenticeships – Make Them Work For You!

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SUMMARY: With the Government championing apprenticeships in the UK, the uptake of these working arrangements by employers is at an all-time high.  The pitfalls however of getting the arrangement wrong can prove extremely costly.  These can be avoided very easily by following a few simple do’s and don’ts.

DON’T use an ordinary contract of employment.

Using an ordinary contract of employment for an apprentice makes it much harder and far more costly for an employer to terminate the agreement.  Apprentices should sign an appropriate apprenticeship agreement which sets out the terms of their engagement.

DO be aware of the minimum durations for apprenticeship agreements.

From 1 August 2012, the minimum duration for apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds is 12 months.  For apprentices aged 19 and above, apprenticeships must last between one and four years, unless prior learning or attainment has been undertaken.

DON’T get caught out by the National Minimum Wage Act.

The apprenticeship rate, which was introduced in 2010, applies only if the correct agreement is in place and the apprentice is in their first year of apprenticeship or is under 19 years of age.  In all other instances, apprentices will be entitled to either the development or adult rate.

DO be aware of young workers’ rights under the Working Time Regulations.

Apprentices under the age of 18, but over compulsory school age, have additional working time rights. These rights include stringent daily and weekly limits, and greater rest break entitlements.

A child ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June in the academic year in which he/she reaches the age of 16 or if he/she reaches 16 after the last Friday in June, but before the start of the new school year.

Get it right and apprenticeships can play a vital role in the long term development of your workforce as well as contributing to enhanced productivity.

Contact Details

For more details about apprenticeships please contact:

fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk

+44 (0) 808 172 93 22

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

National Minimum Wage increases

1-1241448648KyD1SUMMARY:

As of 1 April 2018, the new rates prescribed by the National Minimum Wage legislation come into effect.

THE CHANGES:

The following changes to the national minimum hourly wage will take effect from 1 April 2018:

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THE CATEGORIES

THE NATIONAL LIVING WAGE
This rate applies to workers aged 25 or over.

THE STANDARD ADULT RATE
This rate applies to workers aged between 21 and 24 inclusive.

THE DEVELOPMENT RATE
This rate applies to workers aged between 18 and 20 inclusive.

THE YOUNG WORKERS’ RATE
This rate applies to workers aged below 18 but above the compulsory school age but who are not apprentices.

APPRENTICESHIP RATE
This rate was introduced in October 2010 and applies to all apprentices under 19 years of age or those aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

CONTACT DETAILS

For more details about the national minimum wage changes please contact: fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk
+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

GDPR is Fast Approaching!

The clock is undoubtedly ticking for employers as we edge ever closer to 25th May 2018 when the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) becomes law. Naturally, there will be those organisations that fail to comply with their obligations and make headlines if only through fines or strengthening a disgruntled employee’s ability to bring successful claims. But enough scaremongering!

The question on most employer’s lips is, what do we need to do to get ready? In broad summary there are 5 key steps:

  • Data mapping
  • A review of the key employment documents that touch and concern data protection
  • Training staff on policies and what to do if there is a breach
  • Dealing with Data Subject Access requests
  • Appointing a responsible person with overall knowledge and gatekeeping responsibility.

The starting point for employers is what is now referred to as Data Mapping which put simply is to look at what data is held and processed, where it comes from and for what purpose it is processed. This will enable employers to identify their legal justification for processing it.

Historically a significant proportion of employers have not really given much thought to the justification for holding the employee data that is held in their organisation preferring to rely on a clause in their standard employment contract requiring employees to give their consent to the employer using their data in whatever way they needed to. Once the GDPR is in force placing reliance on employee consent may not only prove ineffective it may also result in an onerous administrative burden for employers.

Data mapping is a worthwhile exercise for employers of any size and will lead to those employers identifying and adopting the most appropriate GDPR compliant reasons for justifying data processing within their own organisations.

The next step for employers is to review existing documents, contracts of employment, policies and procedures in the staff handbook and staff privacy notice in particular. This is to ensure that they are all GDPR compliant. It is also important to ensure that any contracts in place with third party service providers, for example, payroll services providers are also GDPR compliant.

Employers need to ensure that their employees receive training in relation to what their obligations are such as record keeping, retention of data and reporting obligations in relation to the breach of the GDPR.

The right of employees to make data subject access requests is nothing new but it is likely under the new regime that employers will see an increase in such requests. The GDPR has removed the right for employers to charge a fee save in exceptional circumstances and has also shortened the time limit within which an employer must respond to such requests from forty days currently to save in exceptional circumstances one month.

Finally in this summary, the responsible person or Data Protection Officer (“DPO”). Not all employers are required to have one but the process of deciding whether to put one in place is an important exercise for all employers to go through. If an employer chooses to have a DPO time spent in selecting the right individual will be time well spent.

Employers are well advised to get the ball rolling, there is very little time left to define and implement an effective GDPR compliant infrastructure even if the process has already started.

The Team at FG Solicitors can help you with tailored best practice HR and legal audit solutions, beginning with evaluating your current data protection framework enabling you to confidently establish a GDPR compliance roadmap. We will work with you to identify remedial action tailored to your method of operation, thus ensuring a best fit data compliance framework. Regardless of the size of your organisation, we can tailor our GDPR support services to your specific needs.

AUDIT! REMEDIATION! IMPLEMENTATION! TRAINING!

Contact us for a no obligation informal discussion.