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The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has published new guidance on supply chain visibility (April 2018) (PPN 01/18) to coincide with the Cabinet Office’s announcement of a range of initiatives intended to make it easier for SMEs to win government contracts. The initiatives aim to make the process more transparent and accountable. The CCS have also launched a consultation as to whether it would be appropriate to exclude suppliers that cannot demonstrate a fair, effective and responsible approach to payment in their supply chain, this closes at 11:45pm on 5 June 2018.

It is not uncommon to encounter expense sharers or partnerships with either no documentation governing their relationship or alternatively agreements that have not been professionally prepared and may not be fit for purpose.

Before even considering selling the business (which could be either the whole of the business or your individual share) it will be beneficial to formally agree your everyday working arrangements and a clear pathway to retirement or sale.

At a time when the government is trying to persuade more parents to take shared parental leave the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has decided that there was no direct sex discrimination when an employer did not pay a man on shared parental leave enhanced pay equivalent to the enhanced maternity pay it paid to a woman on maternity leave for the same period.

In his July 2015 budget the then Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the National Living Wage (the minimum wage rate payable to workers aged 25 and over) would rise by 2020 to £9 per hour, which was expected to be 60% of median earnings. The recent rise to £7.38 with effect from 1 April 2018 still leaves us some way behind that £9 target.

To get close to the former Chancellor’s target of £9 by 2020 will require significant annual increases in 2019 and 2020. Clearly, employers need some understanding of the likely rate increase to enable future financial planning.

The Government has published a White Paper to address the issues of pension deficits resulting from “irresponsible” executives dodging and abusing their pension responsibilities. Theresa May has advised that the paper will impose criminal sanctions of up to 2 years imprisonment on those responsible, if found guilty.

Those of you familiar with the Equality Act 2010 will know that under Schedule 1, paragraph 6 cancer is a “deemed” disability. In practice, this means that cancer is automatically to be treated as a disability and the individual is deemed to have a disability from the point of diagnosis without the need to satisfy the various elements of the statutory test.

On 2nd February 2018 HHJ Luba QC dismissed a county court appeal in the case of Caridon Property Limited –v- Monty Shooltz, holding that a landlord was prohibited from serving a S.21 notice if the tenant had not been provided with a copy of the current gas safety certificate prior to moving into the property.

It’s that time of the year when new statutory pay rates come into force.

As of 6 April 2018 statutory sick pay has risen from £89.35 per week to £92.05 per week.  

The rates for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increased from £140.98 per week to £145.18 per week with effect from 1 April. On the same date the new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage came into force. 

Last week the Law Society published a press release, saying that it has begun a campaign to change the rules on civil legal aid eligibility.

In summer 2017 the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees were unlawful because households on low incomes were expected to sacrifice an acceptable standard of living (R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51), this was a significant victory for Unison, and the Law Society looks to rely on the result.

National Minimum Wage enforcement is in the headlines again as well-known brands and companies have been named and shamed and fined for not paying staff the National Minimum Wage.

As those who attended our Employment Law Updates in late 2017/ early 2018 will know, there is a renewed government focus on employers who are failing to honour National Minimum Wage (NMW) laws. Sir David Metcalf, who heads up HMRC’s NMW enforcement team as Director of Labour Market Enforcement, is promising tougher action.

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