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Equal Pay News

posted 2 months ago

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Men and women must be paid equal pay for work of equal value. Please note, it is not simply equal pay for the same job.

Asda are currently involved in an equal pay dispute regarding store workers (mainly women) and warehouse workers (mainly men). The warehouse employees are paid at a higher rate. The question is, are the roles of equal value?

The Court of Appeal has found that the Asda’s shop workers can compare their roles with that of warehouse staff. Asda may yet persuade another employment tribunal that the differences in pay are justified and nothing to do with gender. Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco are all facing similar claims. If they lose, it is thought the cost will be around £8bn.

When you look at your pay rates, you might decide to apply an across the board increase. However, it is worth cross referencing different areas to see if you can justify any differences. If you need any support with this, please contact me. 

Minimum wage increases, a reminder
From 1 April 2019, the minimum wage will increase as follows:

Age 25+                       £8.21 per hour
Age 21-24                    £7.70 per hour
Age 18-20                    £6.15 per hour
Age 16-17                    £4.35 per hour
Apprentices                  £3.90 per hour
 
April increases to statutory payments

From April 2019, the following statutory payments will be increased:

Statutory Sick Pay
£94.25 per week

Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Parental Leave Pay (or 90% of average week earnings if less than the statutory rate)
£148.68 per week

Lower Earnings Limit*
£118.00 per week
 
*Employees must earn this each week to qualify for statutory payments.
 
Auto enrolment increases from April

If you haven’t already done so, please inform your employees that their auto-enrolment contributions will be increasing from 3% to 5% from 6 April 2018. No-one wants a nasty surprise in their pay packet in April. Employer’s contributions will also be rising from 2% to 3%.
 
National "No Smoking Day"

If you want to help support your employees’ wellbeing, a good thing to get involved in is National "No Smoking Day" on 13 March 2019. 

The NHS website has some great advice including: "fizzy drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee make cigarettes taste better, so switch from wine to vodka and tomato juice". I guess we should ignore the fact there is alcohol in vodka!

They also suggest it is easier to give up as part of a group. If you have a number of smokers who want to give up together, you could sponsor them or offer other encouragement at work.
 
This month's blog

With minimum wage rates going up again in April, this month’s blog looks at how you could be unwittingly paying your staff below minimum wage, highlighting some nasty traps to avoid.