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Online Recruitment – Good for businesses?

Online-recruitment, also known as e-recruitment, is the use of online technology or the internet to attract candidates and aid the recruitment process. While there are significant advantages to employers using this method of recruitment, it’s important not to get caught out by various pitfalls…

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Pension Auto-Enrolment Begins for Largest Companies

Auto-enrolment begins for the UK’s largest companies, ensuring employees will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme from 1 October 2012. The requirement for employers to include staff in a pension scheme will be initially introduced for organisations employing more than 120,000 people, and apply to employees who are over the age of 22 and earn more than £8,105 – although they do have the choice to opt out. The policy will be gradually rolled out to smaller employers until every workplace uses auto-enrolment by 2017. For the Department for Work and Pensions workplace pension toolkit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/pensions-reform/workplace-pension-reforms/toolkit/

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Mediation? Why bother?

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the name given to the process of dealing with workplace disputes without going directly to Tribunal.  Mediation is the most commonly used method of ADR, and involves the introduction of a neutral third party, for example an HR professional qualified as a mediator, to look for common ground between the two sides and facilitate the resolution of the dispute.

Mediation presents a number of advantages over a tribunal case:

  •       Confidential – The mediation process is confidential, which allows the parties involved to avoid unwanted publicity as may be the case at a tribunal hearing.
  •        Reduced costs and quicker outcome – Mediation can often be concluded within one or two sessions, which represents a far more rapid and economical process than taking the dispute directly to a tribunal. 
  •      Greater control for parties involved– In negotiating their own settlement, each party has an increased influence over the outcome of the dispute.  The ADR process does not look to apportion blame but is positively orientated towards finding a mutually agreeable outcome to the dispute.
  •        Preservation of relationships – A mediated resolution attempts to form a settlement that responds to all parties’ interests, and can subsequently assist to preserve working relations in a way that would be very difficult following a win or lose decision delivered by a tribunal.  If the termination of an employment contract follows the mediation process it can be achieved in a more amiable manner. 
  •       Greater satisfaction with outcome – The parties involved in an ADR process tend to be more satisfied with the result of mediation compared to a decision that is imposed by a third party.  
  •       Customised agreement – An ADR process can assist in resolving procedural or interpersonal issues that have contributed to the dispute but are unlikely to be resolved within the legal framework.  Both parties can refine the agreement to suit their particular circumstances and can go into greater detail on the implementation process.
  •       Setting an example – following a successful ADR, if other disputes occur in the future, the parties involved will be inclined to turn towards a cooperative form of dispute resolution rather than pursuing an adversarial approach through a tribunal procedure.

The use of ADR is particularly attractive as it offers an opportunity to resolve a dispute in a less confrontational way, whilst not precluding the use of a tribunal if the mediation is unsuccessful.

 

SAM HOLLAND, UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

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Employment Tribunal Regulations Change

The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/468), which amend the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure, came into force on 6 April 2012 and apply to cases submitted to an employment tribunal thereafter. In summary, changes include:

  • An increase in the maximum deposit that a tribunal may order a party to pay as a condition of continuing with tribunal proceedings, where it determines that the contentions put forward by that party have little reasonable prospect of succeeding, increases from £500 to £1,000;
  • Witness statements are to be taken as read, unless the tribunal directs otherwise;
  • Employment judges can direct that a party makes a payment to a witness in respect of the costs of attending a tribunal hearing, and the losing party can be ordered to reimburse the winning party for any such costs that have already been paid out; and
  • The maximum amount of a costs order that a tribunal may award in favour of a legally represented party increases from £10,000 to £20,000.

Further details are available on the UK legislation website.

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Workplace Pension Auto-enrolment – Key Dates for Employers

 

The date from which employers are required to auto-enrol eligible staff into a workplace pension scheme (known as the "staging date") depends on the size of the employer's PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. See timetable below to determine when your organisation will need to implement pension auto-enrolement;

PAYE-scheme size

Staging date

120,000 or more

1 October 2012

50,000 to 119,999

1 November 2012

30,000 to 49,999

1 January 2013

20,000 to 29,999

1 February 2013

10,000 to 19,999

1 March 2013

6,000 to 9,999

1 April 2013

4,100 to 5,999

1 May 2013

4,000 to 4,099

1 June 2013

3,000 to 3,999

1 July 2013

2,000 to 2,999

1 August 2013

1,250 to 1,999

1 September 2013

800 to 1,249

1 October 2013

500 to 799

1 November 2013

350 to 499

1 January 2014

250 to 349

1 February 2014

50 to 249

1 April 2014 to 1 April 2015 inclusive1

Test tranche for fewer than 30

1 June 2015 to 30 June 2015 inclusive1

30 to 49

1 August 2015 to 1 October 2015 inclusive1

Fewer than 30

1 January 2016 to 1 April 2017 inclusive1

Employers without PAYE schemes

1 April 2017

New employers that set up from April 2012 to March 2013

1 May 2017

New employers that set up from April 2013 to March 2014

1 July 2017

New employers that set up from April 2014 to March 2015

1 August 2017

New employers that set up from April 2015 to December 2015

1 October 2017

New employers that set up from January 2016 to September 2016

1 November 2017

New employers that set up from October 2016 to June 2017

1 January 2018

New employers that set up from July 2017 to September 2017

1 February 2018

New employers that set up from October 2017 onwards

Immediate duty

For the Department for Work and Pensions workplace pension toolkit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/pensions-reform/workplace-pension-reforms/toolkit/

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