December 2010




On a Need to Know Basis!


Welcome to the latest edition of Purple News, a newsletter aiming to bring you interesting information and essential updates effecting people management in your business.


In This Edition….

§   Heads Up on Employment Law

o    Maternity leave

o    Default Retirement Age

o    The Bribery Act

§   Gender Pay Gap Narrows

§   The Royal Wedding

§   Rhinofact!



Heads Up on Employment Law


Maternity leave: extension to 20 weeks rejected by EU ministers


The Council of the European Union has rejected proposals to extend the minimum period of fully paid maternity leave to 20 weeks, which the European Parliament voted for in October 2010.


Government must delay scrapping default retirement age, says CBI


The Government must delay scrapping the default retirement age (DRA) until it has filled the "legislative void" faced by employers, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.


From 6 April 2011 transitional arrangements for the abolition of the DRA will come in and employers will no longer be able to issue new notifications of retirement under the statutory procedure.


The TUC has supported the need for clear guidance for employers, but backed the Government's abolition of the DRA. General secretary Brendan Barber said: "It cannot be right that workers lose their protection against arbitrary dismissal overnight upon reaching 65."


The 5th April 2011 is the final date under which employers will be able to issue notifications of retirement under the statutory retirement procedure. However, retirements that are notified to the employee before 6 April 2011 that are happening on or after 1 October 2011 will have to be justified to avoid claims of age discrimination.


Please be aware of your retirement policies and practices to ensure that you comply with the new rules.


The Bribery Act 2010


The Bribery Act 2010 comes into force in April 2010 and it prohibits paying bribes, receiving bribes and failing to prevent bribery.  It is the offence of failing to prevent bribery that will have an impact because an organisation’s only defence will be to show it had “adequate procedures” in place to prevent bribery.


A conviction can carry an unlimited fine – and both a company and its directors could be subject to criminal penalties.  Companies should look to review their Whistleblowing and Disciplinary policies to incorporate the new Act.


Gender pay gap narrows to 10.2% in 2010, ONS survey shows


The gap between men and women's median full-time hourly earnings (excluding overtime) has fallen to 10.2% in April 2010 from 12.2% in 2009, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows. 


The latest figures come from the 2010 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and represent the biggest narrowing of the pay gap since the ONS started to use median full-time hourly earnings as the main measure of the gender pay gap in 1997. The survey also reveals that the gender pay gap has narrowed on all of the other key measures reported by the ONS, such as the difference between the median hourly earnings of all men and women (both full- and part-time) which has fallen from 22% to 19.8%.


The ONS says that the narrowing of the gap reflects women's hourly earnings rising faster than men's, at a rate of 2.6% over the year compared with growth of just 0.3% for men's pay.


The Royal Wedding = Bank Holiday!


An extra bank holiday has been announced to mark the forth coming royal wedding.  Whether or not employees are entitled to an additional day’s holiday will depend on the wording of the employment contract. Employees do not have an automatic right to paid time off on a bank holiday.


If the employment contract states that the employee’s annual leave entitlement is a certain number of days plus bank holidays, he or she will be entitled to the additional day off. However, if the contract states that the entitlement is to a certain number of days, and is silent on the issue of bank holidays, the employee will not be entitled to an additional day’s leave. Neither will the employee be entitled to an extra day if entitlement is expressed as a certain number of days “plus eight bank holidays”, or if the contract specifies which bank holidays are included.


Even where employees do not have a contractual entitlement to paid time off on the additional bank holiday, employers should consider providing this as a gesture of goodwill, where possible, or providing time off in lieu if employees are required to work on that day. Employers that ignore the additional bank holiday should be prepared for a negative reaction from their employees.


Check your contracts and if they need updating, give us a call.




Ten ways to motivate a team, according to Management Today.


1.       Let people choose

2.       Make it a pleasant place to work

3.       Allow staff to work flexibly

4.       Consider an internal awards scheme

5.       Show an interest

6.       Avoid cash incentives

7.       Create clear goals…

8.       ….and track progress

9.       Lead from the front

10.   Say thank you


Do you know what your staff really think about working for you and the company?  If you want to find out we have developed a Staff Survey that can be completed on-line and in confidence.  We can then analyse the results for you and help set plans for any actions that may be needed.  Don’t be shy, call us!


We hope that you have found the Newsletter of interest and if you would like us to publish anything in particular in the future do not hesitate to ask.


If we can assist you in any way please contact us on 01473 402864xmas.jpeg