With over 5.24 million people in the UK, 22% of all employees, earning less than the Living Wage, the Treasury is forced to step in and top-up incomes with in-work benefits, such as working tax credits, so that workers can afford a basic standard of living despite being in employment.

The research shows that in the case of some of the UK’s largest retailers, businesses are benefiting more from the Treasury in wage top-ups than they are paying in tax.

Additional paternity leave
On 5 April 2015, the right of fathers to take additional paternity leave is abolished (as it is replaced by shared parental leave). Employers who have not already done so should update policies and handbooks to remove references to additional paternity leave.

Acas are the employment relations experts and a trusted source of advice for employers, employees, Government and others.
The Government has announced several proposed changes to employment law.
It has also launched a number of consultations on further
proposed changes.
A round up of these changes is listed below to help people
understand them and their potential impact.

(Roll out during 2015)
A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced, offering fee occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GP’s The service can provide an occupational health assessment after for weeks of sickness absence.

The leader of Britain’s second-biggest supermarket chain has called for the next
government to change Sunday trading laws. Asda chief executive Andy Clarke says that the restricted supermarket hours on Sundays is unfair on the consumer, as
shoppers are forced to buy the same goods at pricier convenience stores outside the hours that larger shops are licensed to trade in.
The new ‘Fit for Work’ service is to be run by Maximus in England and Wales, the same company brought in to replace Atos to carry out the despised assessments for out of work sickness and disability benefits. In a major embarrassment for DWP Ministers, Fit To Work was expected to launch late last year but so far all Maximus have managed is a website and a phoneline.

When the service is finally implemented employers will be able to refer staff to Fit for Work if they have been absent due to sickness for four weeks. GPs will have additional powers to make a referral from the first day of sickness provided the period of absence is expected to last over four weeks. The patient cannot refer themselves, although they can, at present, refuse to be referred. What employers will make of that refusal is anybody’s guess.
New rights to allow parents to share leave following the birth or adoption of their child have become law on 1st December.

The new rules mean that couples with babies due, or children matched or placed for adoption, after 5 April 2015 will be able to share leave.

After an initial two weeks, up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay can be shared.