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Welfare reform paper

THE Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a Welfare Reform Green Paper in July and is consulting until tomorrow on questions about the future of welfare reform, training, skills and the benefits system.

WELFARE REFORM PAPER: HAVE YOUR SAY

THE Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a Welfare Reform Green Paper in July and is consulting until tomorrow on questions about the future of welfare reform, training, skills and the benefits system.

We welcome your views and encourage you to organise events within your industry to discuss how best this can meet your needs. Representatives from DWP can attend events and answer any questions you may have. Information, including the consultation document, can be found at welfare.reform@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

INTRODUCING EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE

FROM October 27 2008, employment and support allowance will be introduced across the UK. It will help people with an illness or disability move into sustainable work if they are able, replacing incapacity benefit and income support paid on incapacity grounds for new customers.

The allowance includes a new medical assessment – looking at what customers can do rather than what they can’t – and will provide personalised support. This will help realise people’s potential and broaden the skills available to you as an employer. Go to www.dwp.gov.uk/esa

SIGN ON FOR BENEFITS… SIGN UP FOR SKILLS

THE new Government “work and skills” paper sets out plans for people claiming jobseekers allowance who have gaps in their skills to attend training to help them find a job.

The paper accepts that, increasingly, it will not be a lack of jobs but shortage of skills that will be the biggest barrier to full employment. From autumn, all 19 to 25-year-olds who do not have at least level 3 (A-Level) qualifications will be entitled to free training, typically worth £7,000, to attain that level. From 2010, this initiative will be extended to offer all adults the support to continue their education and training.

John Denham, secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills, says: “Our aim is to give everyone the opportunity to make the most of their talents and secure their own prosperity.”

Employers have a role to play in making sure training is right for their business. Jobcentre Plus will continue to work closely with employers to ensure that training supports their recruitment needs. Go to http://dius.gov.uk/policy/work-skills.html

LEGAL ROUNDUP: COMPANY LAW

IGNORANCE is no defence! Make sure your business complies with this new legislation that came into force in April 2008. To find out more go to www.berr.gov.uk

National minimum wage increased: October 1, 2008

What’s new? The national minimum wage for adults aged 22 and over rose from £5.52 to £5.73 per hour. In addition, the development rate for 18 to 21-year-olds increased from £4.60 to £4.77, and the rate for workers aged 16 and 17 increased from £3.40 to £3.53 per hour.

Amendments to terms and conditions of maternity leave: October 5, 2008

What’s new? The amendments help claims for discrimination if a bonus has been missed while on compulsory maternity leave. They also enable claims in relation to terms and conditions of employment during periods of additional maternity leave.

Employment and Support Allowance Regulations: October 27, 2008

What’s new? The regulations set out the conditions of entitlement and benefit regulations for the new social security benefit, Employment and Support Allowance.

The Government is making it cheaper and easier to comply with employment law. To find out more, email elgp@berr.gsi.gov.uk

 

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