Increase to Statutory Rates & National Minimum Wage – April 2018

As the festive season draws to an end and the New Year begins, it is the peak time for employers to familiarise themselves with, and prepare for, legislative changes that will be introduced this year. One of the main changes to note is the increase to the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and sick pay, which will be introduced in April this year.

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‘Tis The Season….. Guidance For Businesses During The Festive Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly and merry. With everyone on the countdown to Christmas, we at HR Services Scotland Ltd thought we should outline as to what is and what is not acceptable behaviour from your employees, this will help avoid any mishaps dampening the Christmas spirit.

HR Services Scotland Ltd has put together a few tips that can help you through the festive season:
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October 8th – 14th Fire Prevention Week

What Is National Fire Safety Week and How Can It Help to Raise Fire Safety Awareness?

First, we need to look at the History:

Fire Prevention Week, was first established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The infamous blaze devastated a large part of Chicago and, in doing so, killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2000 acres of land. The fire started on October 8th but continued into, and did most of its damage on, October 9th.

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Increase In Vento Bands

In cases of discrimination, regardless of being direct or indirect, the Employment Tribunal may award the claimant payment for injury to feelings, in addition to any other compensation. An Injury to feelings award may be applied to all discrimination cases, with the exception of equal pay claims. The purpose of an injury to feelings award is to compensate the claimant for the personal upset caused by the accused’s conduct towards them. The award has no correlation with monetary loss and may be awarded irrespective of whether the claimant has been financially disadvantaged as a result of the discriminatory behaviour. In many instances the injury to feelings award will account for the majority of the compensation awarded to the claimant in discrimination cases (XpertHR, 2017).

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Recruitment Tips

An effective and efficient workforce is key to the success of any business and is reliant on having the right people with the necessary skills and experience to carry out the required tasks. Recruitment is the first step to determine if prospective candidates are suited to the organisational culture and have the correct aptitude for the role. The recruitment, selection and induction process is a significant investment for employers and the cost of replacing an employee is estimated to be around £30,000, with a considerable amount of this being due to the loss of productivity (ACAS, 2017). One of the key goals of any business should be to attract and retain the best employees and having a strong recruitment process in place will facilitate this. The following areas should be taken into consideration during the recruitment process:

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Workplace Appreciation

Regardless of position within the business, whether an employee, CEO or business owner,
everyone commits a considerable amount of their time and effort into the organisation and
deserve recognition for their efforts. Dr. Bob Nelson, recognition expert, reported that 58%
of employees stated that they seldom, if ever, receive a thank you from their employer for a
job well done (Nelson Motivation Inc., 2017). According to Maritz Research employees who
receive recognition at work are five times more likely to feel valued, seven times more likely
to stay with the company, six times more likely to invest in the company and eleven times
more likely to feel completely committed to the company.

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Equality Act 2010 – Discrimination and Employee Rights

It is essential that employers are aware of their duties under the Equality Act 2010, ensuring that they are treating all employees fairly and are not unintentionally discriminating against current or prospective employees. Discrimination means that someone is being treated unfairly because of who they are as a person. The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination by:

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Voluntary Overtime and Holiday Pay

Recently the Employment Appeal Tribunal made a decision in regards to what should be taken into consideration when calculating holiday pay. The focus was on whether voluntary overtime should be taken into account as part of an employee’s normal remuneration for the purposes of calculating holiday pay. In the case in question the workers had voluntarily carried out additional duties over and above those detailed in their contract of employment.

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