Latest blog entries from Employment Law Dundee
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Critics have hit back at Dundee Council claiming that the cuts suggested by the organisation will affect lowest paid staff and vulnerable staff such as women on maternity leave.
The council wants to transform the way it pays staff in an attempt to make savings after the organisation was told it had to save £23 million from its budget. Some trade unions such as the GMB have condemned the proposals warning that under the plans from the council workers on a low income would be worse off and women on maternity leave could lose thousands.
The Government has failed to name companies who are underpaying staff despite continually promising to “name and shame” those who are breaking the law.
Critics have stated that the failure to inform the public about which companies are breaking the rules are showing that the government are not serious about tackling the minimum wage issue and eradicating poverty.
Since tougher rules on non-payment of the wage were introduced in 2013, HM Revenue and Customs has investigated 1,004 complaints against employers.
Of those investigated, 398 firms have been named after they were found to be underpaying staff. 165 have not been identified because their total arrears to employees were less than £100. 27 companies have successfully argued they have not broken the law. Despite the criticism, the Department for Business said its priority was to ensure that any wage arrears owed to workers were paid rather than naming employers before them settling what they owe.
The department added that there was a delay in the naming of companies as employers had two chances to appeal before they suffered the reputational damage of being publicly identified, but, that a list of names could be expected shortly.
A pair of employees have won their unfair dismissal case after they were awarded around £25,000 after being dismissed by BEAR.
The company used covert surveillance to monitor staff and then used said video to dismiss two employees, Sean Toshney from Dundee, and colleague Neil Fotheringham from Arbroath. BEAR cited gross misconduct after alleging they were guilty of poor timekeeping and falsifying records. However, the pair has now been awarded compensation following an employment tribunal.
Solicitors have criticised the government's decision to implement legislation that is meant to protect workers on zero-hour contracts, with experts calling the legislation as “toothless”.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 was passed under the Liberal-Conservative coalition government with the intention to ban clauses that allow employers to block zero-hours employees from having other jobs.
Such exclusivity clauses were promised in the General Election with the Prime Minister promising to scrap such clauses and look into scrapping zero hour contracts.
More than a quarter of employers (28%) plan to give workers a pay rise this year and a further 40% are still considering increasing wages, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey from professional body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).
Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced plans for a consultation on zero-hour contracts (ZHC) to identify any possible abuses, particularly around the issue of exclusivity.
Almost half of the rise in employment since 2010 has been in temporary work according to a TUC analysis of official figures, which shows that between December 2010 and December 2012 the number of temporary workers increased by 89,000 to reach 1,650,000 - nearly half (46%) of the total rise in employment.