Friday, 1 April 2016


My periodic newsletter on all things employment law related that I think you should be aware of.
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Hello   colleagues  ,
        I positively promise you,  nothing contained in this issue  is an April Fool gag !     it's all true.   Although as I get older, I do start to reflect a little. On radio 4 this week there was a retrospective about "April Fool" gags by the BBC.  I was listening with my granddaughter and she struggled to believe the Richard Dimbleby one about the "spaghetti harvest" from circa 1958.  "how could people believe that" she said,  I had to explain that this was in the days before "foreign" food was normal, I even remember that you bought "olive oil"  from the chemist in little bottles,  for the specific purpose of pouring down your ear!      "Is that when you were black & white Grandad?"   she opined!

              Read on for details, and, as always, call me or mail me if you have any concerns or need more information about this edition's content.

Kind regards,     Paul 


First The News:

1st. April 2016,   I just know that you are aware that as of today,  the national living wage (NLW) is introduced for all employees age 25 or over, £7:20,  some other state benefits also increase as of 6th April.  This is quite normal and benefits are realigned every April.  The national minimum wage (NMW)  will also increase slightly in October as it does each Autumn.   Please see below,   I've produced a handy guide, with all the benefits and pay rates right through to 2017,  please click on the link below,  and download,  you can of course print off or file it somewhere handy .

In you need further in depth help working out what exactly counts as minimum wage,  the DBIS has produced this 55 page guide,

"Calculating the minimum wage"       


Newsflash:    Eight new pieces of legislation for 2016.........

!.     The National Living Wage is Introduced
see above of course for details,  but basically £7:20 hr for all employees aged 25 or over

2. Penalties for non-payment of the national minimum wage are increased
The penalty for employers found not to have paid the national minimum wage doubles from 1 April 2016. The enforcement regime is the same for non-payment of the national living wage.

3. A new state pension scheme is introduced, ending contracting-out
A single-tier state pension is introduced from 6 April 2016, replacing the previous basic state pension and additional state pension.

4. Employer NICs are abolished for apprentices under age 25
As part of the Government’s drive to encourage employers to create more apprenticeships for young people, from 6 April 2016, employers will not pay employer national insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25.

5. Public-sector employees can be required to repay exit payments
Employment law changes April 2016
Regulations requiring higher earning public-sector employees to repay exit payments if they re-join the public sector within a year are expected to come into force in April 2016 or soon after.

6. Financial penalties can be imposed for non-payment of tribunal awards
Legislation allowing tribunal enforcement officers to impose a financial penalty on an employer that fails to pay a tribunal award or Acas settlement sum is expected to come into force in April 2016.

7. A salary requirement is introduced for tier 2 workers
Employers can sponsor skilled foreign workers to come to the UK to work for them under tier 2 of the immigration points system. A new requirement for a minimum salary of £35,000 will apply from 6 April 2016.

8. Statutory family-related pay and sick pay rates are frozen
Our final change for April isn’t actually a change at all, but many employers might be expecting one around statutory rates of pay. Unlike in previous years, there will be no increase to statutory adoption, maternity, paternity or shared parental pay rates in April 2016.

My Comment:  phew !     quite a lot to take in,  and not all will affect everyone of course.    For more detailed analysis see the full issue on my blog page
Personnel Today Direct,    provided me with all this valuable information.   My grateful thanks to them as always for their generosity in sharing.   see them at

Employee who “pulls a sickie” can be dismissed for misconduct
An employee on sick leave who was found to have exaggerated the effects of an injury caused by a slip at work was fairly dismissed, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). Stephen Simpson rounds up recent employment decisions.

In Metroline West v Ajaj, the EAT affirmed that an employee who makes up, or exaggerates the effects of, an injury or illness to take fraudulent sick leave is fundamentally breaching the implied term of trust and confidence and can be dismissed for misconduct.
My CommentFair enough !
For full details on the background to this case see my blog page

My thanks to   for their always well written contributions

Other tribunal decisions in the headlines

NHS ordered to reinstate unfairly dismissed surgeon
A hospital trust that was found to have unfairly dismissed one of the world’s leading surgeons has been ordered to reinstate him within weeks, the Daily Mail reports.
Sacked Aberystwyth teacher wins unfair dismissal tribunal
A teacher who was sacked after complaints about his behaviour has won an unfair dismissal case, reports the BBC.
Homophobia row preacher loses HMP Littlehey tribunal
A prison minister who resigned after a row about “homophobic” Bible quotes which he read to inmates has had his claim for unfair dismissal rejected, says the BBC.
Metrolink worker unfairly dismissed for “misusing” boss’s diary
A father of three who has had to live off benefits for 15 months has proved he was sacked unfairly, the Bury Times reports.


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Health& Safety Myths

A light hearted look at some of the idiotic things we hear.

Case 366 - A local pub can’t replace fried egg with scrambled as they can’t use a microwave due to health and safety



On ordering a cooked breakfast in their local pub, the enquirer was told they couldn't replace fried egg with scrambled egg as this would involve using a microwave which can't be done due to Health and safety.

Panel opinion

This is a cracking excuse! (sorry !  editor) Health & safety at work legislation does not prohibit the use of a microwave oven to make scrambled eggs. The company concerned acknowledges that it does not serve scrambled eggs because it has a centrally-determined menu. Instead of explaining this, "health and safety" has been given as the eggscuse,  (doh!)  irritating the customer and leaving the company with egg on its face.  (ooh!    sorry again,   editor)

Case 367 - A lady fainted in a shop and the staff could not give her a glass of water because of health and safety


Whilst in a shop recently a lady fainted and the enquirer immediately went to assist. The enquirer heard the lady ask the very kind staff in the shop who had given her a comfy chair to sit in, for a drink of water. She was told sorry we can’t give you one - health and safety rules. The enquirer was wondering if this is a true ruling by H&S.

Panel opinion

Refusing the lady who had fainted a drink of water after she came round and was sitting up was a bizarre and ridiculous response. The panel is at a loss to understand why anyone could possibly think they could not do this for "health and safety". There is no such rule and it would have been quick and easy to accommodate the request.