September 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 affecting people management in your business.

In This Edition....

  • Heads Up on Employment Law
    • Minimum Wage
    • Equality Act
    • The Bribery Act
    • Default Retirement Age
  • ET's at their Highest Level
  • Return to Work Interviews
  • Pay Trends
  • Rhinofact!


Purple Rhino has redesigned its website, we hope you like it.  We will be issuing regular updates of Purple News and posting them on the website so stay tuned!



Heads Up on Employment Law


In recent years October has become a popular month for introducing legislation and changes and this year is no exception.

Minimum Wage

The new rates with effect from the 1st October 2010, will be: 

  • £5.93 per hour for workers aged 21 and over, increased from £5.80;
  • £4.92 per hour for 18-20 year olds, increased from £4.83; and
  • £3.64 per hour for 16-17 year olds, increased from £3.57.

For the first time there will also be an apprentice minimum wage of £2.50 per hour.  The new rate will apply to those apprentices who are under 19 or those that are aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The adult rate of £5.93 per hour will now apply to all workers aged 21 or over, instead of the previous age of 22.

Equality Act 2010

This Act brings the existing discrimination legislation under one roof.   In addition to bringing the existing legislation together it also changes some of the legislation and in some areas it has bought in new legislation.  There are new areas that need to be considered and we have a checklist that you may want to consider.

The Bribery Act

This was due to come into force this month, but the Government has delayed it until April 2011.  This will allow a short consultation exercise in September, with guidance to be published early in the New Year.

Default Retirement Age (DRA)

Not this year!  But the Government is planning to scrap the DRA in the UK from October 2011.  This means employers will not be able to dismiss staff simply because they have reached the age of 65.  The Government has launched a consultation.


ET's at their Highest Level

There has been a resurgence of Employment Tribunal claims.  The Tribunal Service statistics for 2009/10 show that over 230,000 claims were lodged in the last year.  This is the highest figure ever.

Over 90% of the cases are multiple claims, although individual claims have also risen.

This may not be surprising in the current economic climate.  If you are going through any redundancy process or dismissing staff for other reasons please ensure that you follow the correct process, otherwise you could be one of the 400,000 unresolved claims in the system.

Before you start any process let us help you ensure that you plan it effectively and legally.  Those signed up to our advice line, just call.


Return to Work Interviews

As a company are you carrying out return to work interviews?  According to some recent research by XpertHR they found:

  • The use of return-to-work interviews is based on information supplied by 166 employers - 156 of whom carry out return-to-work interviews.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents report that their organisation's absence rates have fallen as a result of conducting return-to-work interviews.
  • Respondents are dubious about the effectiveness of return-to-work interviews for long-term sickness absence, with just a quarter (25%) of employers reporting an improvement.
  • Nearly half (48.1%) of respondents say return-to-work interviews are not used consistently throughout their organisation.
  • The main reason for this inconsistency is because line managers lack either the confidence, time or buy-in to conduct return-to-work interviews.

With 68% of respondents saying that sickness levels reduced since introducing return to work interviews, the argument should be clear!  Let us help you introduce this to your business and train your managers on how to get the most out of the interviews.  They should be used to both monitor sickness but also to ensure that the company is doing everything it can to help the individual, including letting them how much they are missed!


Pay Trends

In a survey covering three months that ended in August 2010, the median pay rises were at 1.0%. Half of all pay rises surveyed in this period were in a range of 0% to 2.5%. The amount of companies that had a pay freeze was 27.3%.  Compared to this time last year, in the companies surveyed, 40% of them gave a higher award this year. 



According to a survey by Medicash, men are four times more likely than women to phone in sick, due to work related stress. 20% of men admitted to taking two days sick in the past month because of stress!


We hope that you have found this Newsletter of interest.  If you would like us to publish a particular topic in the future do not hesitate to ask.


If we can assist you in any way do not hesitate to contact us on 01473 402864.