News Burst: 9 January 2013
Redundancy notice period halved to 45 days
Employment relations minister Jo Swinson has announced plans to reduce the 90 day minimum period before very large scale redundancies can take place to 45 days.
Swinson also announced plans to legislate to make clear that fixed term contracts which have reached the end of their natural life are excluded from obligations for collective redundancies consultation and introduce new non-statutory Acas guidance to address a number of key issues affecting collective redundancies consultation.
Announcing the changes, which will be made through secondary legislation and put in place by 6 April 2013, Swinson said: “The UK has a labour market that is flexible, efficient and fair but some of our laws need reform to respond to an ever changing employment landscape.
“We have listened to stakeholders and there is a strong argument for shortening the minimum period which is backed up by hard evidence. The process is usually completed well within the existing 90-day minimum period, which can cause unnecessary delays for restructuring, and make it difficult for those affected to get new jobs quickly.”
Swinson added: “Our reforms will strike an appropriate balance between making sure employees are engaged in decisions about their future and allowing employers greater certainty and flexibility to take necessary steps to restructure.”
Labour pledges “jobs guarantee” for anyone out of work for over two years
Anyone out of work for more than two years would be guaranteed a job under a plan unveiled by shadow chancellor, Ed Balls.
Balls said 129,400 people would currently be helped by the plan, which would be entirely paid for by limiting tax relief on pension contributions made by the 2% of UK earners with incomes of more than £150,000 a year.
Under Labour’s plan, the long-term unemployed would be offered 25 hours of work a week at the national minimum wage for six months.
Anyone who fails to take up the offer under the £1 billion scheme would risk losing their benefits.
Balls said: “A One Nation approach to welfare reform means Government has a responsibility to help people into work and to support those who cannot.”But those who can work must be required to take up jobs or lose benefits as a result – no ifs or buts.
“Britain needs real welfare reform that is tough, fair and that works, not divisive, nasty and misleading smears from an out-of-touch and failing government.”
No workplace benefits for nearly nine million workers
Nearly nine million workers do not receive any benefits from their employers at all and with upcoming changes such as auto-enrolment, employers may well have to re-think their no-benefits policies, according to research published by insurance firm, Canada Life.
The research revealed that almost a third (31%) of workers state they would like access to more benefits from their employer. Women (32%) are the most likely to receive no benefits, compared to (27%) of men.
The research, which polled over 1,600 UK employees, found a fifth feel the kind of benefits offered by their employer will only increase in importance following upcoming changes such as auto-enrolment, which makes the provision of a workplace pension mandatory.
Workers would give up their job for £1 million
A lump sum of £1million is the ‘magic amount’ which people say would allow them to give up their job and live comfortably for the rest of their lives, a report reveals today.
For those over the age of 55, the figure falls to £500,000.
Before putting the money into a savings account, half said they would buy a property and more than a third would go on holiday or travel the world.
One in five would buy a new car. But the report, from the retirement firm LV, formerly known as Liverpool Victoria, says many are unrealistic as they would have little to live off after such a spending spree. On average, people say they would need around £23,000 a year to live comfortably when they retire.