WHAT'S HAPPENED RECENTLY:
In April 2009, the minimum annual leave entitlement rose from 4.8 to 5.6 weeks (24 to 28 days per annum for those working a five day week, pro-rata for part-time workers).
At the same time, the right to request flexible working was extended to parents of children aged six to 16.
Fit notes replaced sick notes in April 2010. This means that as well as the doctor giving out notes to say whether someone is fit or not fit for work, there is also a middle ground, whereby a doctor can issue a 'may be fit for work taking account of the following advice' statement.
The doctor can advise on: a phased return to work; altered hours; amended duties; and workplace adaptations. However, it is up to you whether or not you choose to follow the advice.
The following changes to statutory payments took effect on April 4, 2010:
The earnings threshold for statutory adoption, maternity, paternity and sick pay to rise from £95 to £97 a week
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay and maternity allowance to rise from £123.06 to £124.88 a week
Statutory sick pay will remain at £79.15 per week
WHAT'S JUST HAPPENED:
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
The National Minimum Wage rate increased on October 1, 2010:
The adult hourly rate has risen from £5.80 to £5.93
The hourly rate for 18- to 21-year-olds has risen from £4.83 to £4.92
The hourly rate for 16- to 17-year-olds has risen from £3.57 to £3.64
The age threshold for the main rate has fallen from 22 to 21.
A minimum wage rate of £2.50 an hour has also been introduced for apprentices aged under 19 and apprentices aged over 19 who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.
WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN:
ADDITIONAL PATERNITY LEAVE
Fathers and partners of those who give birth to or adopt children born on or after April 3, 2011 can share the maternity or adoption leave and pay if the mother or adopter returns to work early.
Your employees will have the right to request unpaid time off for work-related training as of April 2011.
From April 1, 2011 the main rate of Corporation Tax (CT) will reduce from 28% to 27%. Thereafter it will reduce to 26% on April 1, 2012, 25% on April 1, 2013 and 24% on April 1, 2014.
Companies with profits below the lower limit of £300,000 currently pay a lower rate of 21%, which will reduce to 20% on April 1, 2011. The government intends to set out a detailed programme of reform of CT in the autumn.
ON THE HORIZON:
The planned extension of statutory maternity pay from 39 to 52 weeks was due to go ahead in April 2010, but has been postponed indefinitely.
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