Employment Law Update March 2014
Changes to Statutory Sick Pay (Maintenance of Records) Regulations 2014
Prior to 6th April 2014 the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 have required employers to maintain particular records of employee sickness absence and payment of SSP for a period of 3 years after each tax year. From 6th April 2014 this requirement will be removed and employers will instead be able to keep records in a manner that suits the needs of their business. This will have an impact on the Percentage Threshold Scheme which enables employers to claim reimbursement of costs where SSP paid exceeds 13% of the National Insurance contribution they are liable to pay to HMRC as the records previously kept provided evidence to support claims for reimbursement. The PTS scheme is however being abolished under separate arrangements.
More on the SSP Percentage Threshold (Revocations, Transitional and Saving Provisions) (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) Order 2014
The order will come into effect from 6 April 2014 and means that employers will no longer be entitled to recover SSP payments. Transitional arrangements will enable PTS to have an effect for two years after it is revoked to allow the recovery of an amount of SSP paid before, on or after 6 April 2014, where it is relation to incapacity for work that occurred before 6 April 2014.
Changes to Automatic Enrolment earnings threshold
Employees’ rights under the automatic enrolment pension’s framework are categorised according to age and earnings, relative to set statutory figures in relation to minimum earnings threshold and lower and upper qualifying earnings boundaries. These statutory figures are reviewed each April. This April the minimum earnings threshold for automatic enrolment will increase from £9,440 to £10,000 and the lower and upper qualifying earnings boundaries will increase from £5,668 to £5,772 and from £41,450 to £41,865 accordingly.
Implementation of changes to flexible working right delayed
Government plans to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees with 26 weeks’ or more service from 6th April 2014 have been delayed. An alternative date of implementation will be provided as soon as possible. In turn implementation of the revised statutory procedure for considering requests for flexible working which will place a duty on employers to consider requests in a reasonable manner, along with the new ACAS Code of Practice have also been delayed.