UK Unemployment Rises

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that between December and February the unemployment in the UK has risen up to 2.56 million. Many people have been made redundant, hopefully their employers had a redundancy policy.

Those who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance last month were 1.53 million which means 7,000 less than before. There is no reliable data on how many employment contracts have been signed up for the same period.

Another thing ONS stated was that average earnings in the year to February mark the lowest growth rate since 2009.

In the latest quarter of February the number of people in work fell to just under 30 million.

Statistics also showed that 900,000 people have been out of work for more than a year and that the number of 16-24-year-olds with no job rose by 20,000 to 979,000

The data point a 62,000 fall in the number of people in part-time jobs and an increase by 60,000 in full-time employment.

Alan Clarke, economist at Scotia bank, said: “It’s not a disaster, but a lot of the froth and really good news we had over the last year on jobs is becoming exhausted, which shouldn’t be a surprise when there is not much growth around.”

Employment minister Mark Hoban said they would not stop helping jobseekers.

The number of JA claimers in whole England, Wales and Scotland has fallen having in mind that the number of new claims was at its lowest level for more than four years.

The number of young people claiming JA is down by 2,800 on the month, and is 65,400 lower than last year.

As usually there are many people criticizing the decision of the UK government. These claim that the government has to think over reining back its austerity plan.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “The chancellor should heed IMF advice to change course to grow the economy to end this needless waste of human talent.”

 

Higher Minimum Wages from October

From October, the minimum wage per hour for adults will become £6.31 and those aged between 18 and 20 years old will be paid £5.03. This probably increase the need for more employment documents.

Despite the raises of 12p and 5p respectively, fall below the current rate of inflation they coincide with the recommendations made to the government by the Low Pay Commission.

No matter that the Commission urged the government not to increase the minimum wage for apprentices, the suggestion is about an increase of 3p so that it reaches £2.68 an hour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable commented the important role of the Low Pay Commission in the settlement of the rates of the minimum wage: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of our goal to support a stronger economy, and so it is important to continue to make them attractive to young people. Therefore, I am not taking forward the LPC’s recommendation to freeze the apprenticeship rate due to non-compliance, but instead am raising it in line with the youth rates.”

Ian Murray MP agreed with the changes but said that the government had to be more careful with employers who did not pay their workers the minimum wage.

In his words, Labour would not stop pressing ministers to promote the living wage.

Of course, as usual there are people who do not agree with the proposed changes.

The director of policy for the British Chambers of Commerce, Dr. Adam Marshall, said the business costs would inevitably increase.

“We are disappointed that the government has chosen to raise the adult national minimum wage rate by 1.9%, an increase that is over 50% higher than current average pay growth.”

According to TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, wages should have increased even more in spite of the wish of the government for a freeze of the minimum wages.

 

Benefits Cap Introduced In Some Areas Of London

The new cap of benefits which now the government has begun to roll out, are expected to cover the whole country. Many people are wondering if this will affect the redundancy policy in the UK in any way.

Today the London boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey will limit the amount of money which parents can receive from various benefits- couples and single parents will get £500 a week and single people will receive £350 a week. What will happen to the parental leave then?

The cap will now include people receiving disability benefits but will include income from jobseeker’s allowance, income support, housing benefit and child benefit. May be we`ll need a job application form templates more than ever.

From July to September the scheme will be introduced in other areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

The aim of this move is that the Department for Work and Pensions saves £110m a year.

In the words of employment minister Mark Hoban they aimed to create an affordable benefits system.

“This is about fairness,” said Hoban. “There are people in this country making difficult choices about where they live and who don’t claim housing benefits. If they want to escape the benefits cap, the best way to do it is to move into work.”

However, critics claim this move would make couples break up so that they would escape many financial limitations.

Investigations show that the main part of the non-working families with four or more children will be forced below the poverty line.

Others say that housing benefits cap would pay directly to landlords so the better thing the government could try to do is to call for more affordable housing and lower rents.

 

 

 

Defamation Bill Threatened Again

After an amendment was tabled according to which two key sections of the defamation bill have to be removed, the reform of UK defamation law is again threatened.

Three years after the libel reform campaigners started working the defamation bill is about to become a law.

Sir Edward Garnier, a Tory MP and libel lawyer pleaded that two aspects of the bill have to be removed. If the bill stands as it is now, individuals or public authority would not have the chance to sue for libel over criticism, which means that journalists and bloggers would criticize local authorities with no fear. Is it as bad as it sounds by the way? The Legal Stop will not criticise any authority, as all we want to do is to provide you with the required legal documents. For that reason we launched the “request a document” service.

In 1993 after Derbyshire Council unsuccessfully attempted to sue the Times newspaper “the Derbyshire Principle”was established.

Due to another clause companies would have to prove what the financial damages of the company after this written criticism were, otherwise they would not have the right to bring libel claims against journalists and bloggers.

If the suggestion of Sir Edward is accepted both of these clauses will be removed from the bill.

People who have worked on the bill are against the amendment proposed by Sir Edward.

One of the men involved in the genesis of the bill, Lib Dem peer Lord Lester, shared his view that Derbyshire Principle clause has to be preserved by all means.

According to freedom of speech groups Sense and Science and English PEN financial loss has to be proved before companies are being allowed to sue for libel.

Last month when Lord Puttnam tabled an amendment to add a recommendation on press ethics to the bill, the government would have almost thrown out the entire bill.

This amendment, however, was removed.

 

Youth Crime Commissioner Busted For Offensive Tweets

Racist and homophobic slurs were discovered earlier this week on the Twitter timeline of Britain’s inaugural youth crime commissioner.

Her name is Paris Brown and she is 17 years old. For £15,000 a year she should try to improve the communication between young people and police.W wonder if she is familiar with the employment documents required for 17-year olds?

Unfortunately it turned out that Ms Brown had posted unsavory things on her Twitter earlier this week. These included topics about sex, drugs and drinking. From a legal perspective – nothing unforgivable, however was she right to write thinks like these?

When applying for this position Ms Brown competed with 164 other candidates.

The person who first mentioned about this position and was ready to pay £5,000 of the salary from her own wage shared she had thought that the appointment of Ms Brown had been a good decision.

“I was not recruiting an angel, and I was not recruiting a police officer,” said Ms Barnes. “I was recruiting a young person, warts and all.

This is the main reason why she believed there was no way that they could find a young person who had never said anything foolish and offensive and felt sorry for it later.

Before being given this position Paris passed police vetting procedures but they did not find out anything about the teenager’s social media presence.

Many complaints were received on Monday so now police investigates this case.

In the words of Ms Brown this furor about her tweets would prevent her from carrying out her duties.

“I strongly reiterate that I am not racist or homophobic,” she added. “I have fallen into the trap of behaving with bravado on social networking sites. I hope this may stand as a learning experience for many other young people.”

 

 

 

More Legal Aid Cuts – New Changes Planned

As the government aims at slashing a further £220m from the cost of criminal legal aid today they launched a new consultation.

It turned out that the legal aid changes introduced by the LASPO Act were not enough so now the government is about to put forward plans according to which the access of prisoners to legal aid will be more limited and people with income of over £37,500 will not receive legal aid automatically. The good news is that The Legal Stop will continue to supply you with high quality employment documents.

The new plans will make convicted criminals repay the costs for their defense with deductions from the money they are going to earn in future, in case they work in accordance with the employment legislation and have an employment contract.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said of the notion: “Those who live outside the law should pay the consequences both through being punished and bearing more of the costs they impose on society. That is why we are exploring ways to make criminals pay towards the cost of their prosecution to the court.”

Another proposal that was announced is that legal aid contracts should be introduced, as the government presumes that this will reduce the number of firms which provide these services.

The intention of the government is to limit the number of law firms which offer such assistance as now it is about 1,600.

However the Law Society of England and Wales opposed to this suggestion. According to Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff  ”It will take much longer to do properly,…and if it’s not done properly then we are going to end up with miscarriages of justice, with people being stuck in prison far longer than they should be on remand, with witnesses not turning up, with cases not being properly prepared. It’s a huge, huge risk.”

This was not the only proposal she was worried about. In her words immigrants should not be denied legal aid as this should not be a thing which depended on the status of a certain person in the country but on their needs.

 

 

 

Disability Benefit Changes Come Into Effect In Northern England First

The part of England which will first adopt the changes to disability benefits isNorth England.

The previous time Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was introduced was in 1992 but now it has to be changed with Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which is intended to deliver funds to the people who are in greatest need.

According to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith the reforms that were now happening were “quite reasonable”, claiming: “Seventy per cent of people on it have lifetime awards which means no one sees you ever again. It doesn’t matter if you get better or your condition worsens – it’s quite ridiculous.”

However, the scheme has many critics claiming that the only thing the government is interested in is saving money and not the needs of people.

Richard Hawkes, the charity’s chief executive, said that the reforms would not help disabled people as their everyday life and needs are too expensive.

On the other hand, the Minister for Disabled People, said that these changes were necessary to happen as the old allowance which was made 20 years ago was not up-to- date.

“The Personal Independence Payment will include a new face-to-face assessment and regular reviews – something missing in the current system. This will ensure the billions we spend give more targeted support to those who need it most.”

Now north England is about to discuss the assessments mentioned which will roll out to the rest of the country in June.

The current DLA claimants will be moved over to the PIP system over the next two years.

The Legal Stop has always been your reliable source of corporate and business documents, no matter what changes are happening into our system!

 

 

Ealing Council’s ‘Foster to Avoid Benefits Cut’ Call Condemned

Many people fostering a child received leaflets telling them to avoid losing benefits in case they have empty bedrooms. This move of the London council was criticized severely.

The government plans which started functioning from 1 April promise housing benefit cut for those social housing tenants who have a spare bedroom.

The deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was the person who first expressed his discontent.

The explanation of the council was that foster care applicants would be investigated and if financial gain turned out to be their main aim they will not be approved.

When the deputy prime minister took part in the weekly radio phone-in on LBC 97.3, a caller who called herself Lisa shared that she had received a letter of those mentioned above which suggested that she could “subsidize” the loss by taking in a foster child.

The opinion of Mr. Clegg was that this would not help people solve their money problems and cover the £14-a-week cut in benefit.

“I think it is not right for Ealing Council to take what was an exemption that we announced a couple of weeks ago when we said foster families will not be covered by this and then to use that locally to say ‘why don’t you turn yourself into a foster family?’,” he said.

The Ealing Council spokeswoman said that according to them welfare benefit changes may and will prevent many people who thought of becoming foster parents, from taking children.

She explained that they have sent these leaflets in order to inform foster families about the changes. She added: “We have a very rigorous assessment process and if financial gain was the sole motivation the applicant would not be approved.”

Check our Adoption Leave policy and browse many other employment documents.

 

NHS Structure Changes Come into Force

Health leaders warn that a tough year is coming ahead. The new structures will start functioning from Monday.

According to the NHS Confederation on one hand these changes create great opportunities but at the same time they will not be a “silver bullet” for future.

In the words of Mike Farrar, chief executive of the confederation, which represents health managers, NHS was most probably facing a critical period as they needed to rebuild public confidence after the Stafford Hospital scandal.

However, he warned that the new structures in health service would be a great challenge for people.

“Those doing the day-job face major pressures in trying to keep the NHS’s head above water, while focusing on making the new world work.”

The changes were made some three years ago but the new system starts functioning just now.

Some people are concerned that private sector will get a greater role.

Others expressed their opinion that right now when time is difficult and money is tight such radical changes do not make sense.

Health Minister Anna Soubry said: “The health service will improve, work smarter and, importantly, build an NHS that delivers high quality, compassionate care for patients.”

However, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham is on the opposite opinion and does not think changes would make things better. He said that hundreds of new private companies did risk fragmenting patient care.

GP Catherine Briggs shared her view that the spending of the money from the budget needs to be controlled better.

“Because GPs have face-to-face contact with patients every day and because they know their patients and their communities really well,” she said.

“That means they are really well-placed to be able to make decisions about how healthcare should be delivered best.”

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