Food for Thought…

Are you aware of the employment tribunal compensation increases which came into force this month?


Whilst there are reports of 60% fall in employment tribunal claims being brought by employees following the 2013 regulations, there are the following increases in compensation limits which come into effect from 6 April 2017 which employers should be aware of going forward:


  • Increase from £479 to £489 cap on weekly pay for the purpose of calculating statutory redundancy pay and the basic award for unfair dismissal.
  • The limit on compensation for unfair dismissal claims sees a 0.98% increase to £80,541
  • Where employees are laid off the guaranteed pay is to be increased from £26 to £27 per day for the first 5 days (in any 3 month period) increasing the maximum to £135.00 per week.


Key change to note:

The National Living Wage sees its first increase since its introduction last year, rising to £7.50 per hour for employees aged 25 and over.


Contracts and new members of staff?

A point which many employers forget during the process of taking on a new employee is the requirement to provide the employee with a Written Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment within the first two months of employment. This must include;

    1. job title and a brief description of the main duties of the role
    2. name of the employer and its address, and employee and their address.
    3. start date.
    4. pay details and any benefits
    5. pension provision
    6. hours of work 
    7. location/s 
    8. holidays 
    9. details of sick leave pay
    10. length of any probationary period and conditions
    11. whether the post is permanent, or fixed-term or temporary with the date it ends
    12. periods of notice 

How do I ensure this is not missed during the recruitment process?


  • Many employers choose to issue a contract of employment at the outset which is good practice, however if employers would prefer to do so until the employee has successfully completed their probationary period you should have a template prepared for your practice manager to complete and provide the employee with this on their first day.


What happens if I fail to do this?

Unless an employer can show that there are exceptional circumstances, an employee could be entitled to an award between 2-4 weeks’ pay if the employer fails to provide a written statement of initial employment particulars (and written notification of changes to their terms and conditions of employment.


Do you have any self employed people in your practice?

City Sprint is not a company that will be well known in the dental industry but for those who take note of recent employment tribunal cases will know that there is an indication of a shift towards those with self processed ‘self-employed’ status being found to be workers and therefore earning themselves basic employment rights.


What rights does a ‘worker’ have which a self-employed’ person does not? In brief:


  • a right to be paid the national minimum/living wage;
  • minimum level of paid holiday
  • to work not more than 48 hours per week
  • protection against unlawful deduction from wages.


They may also be entitled to 

  • adoption/maternity/paternity pay
  • sick pay


Why are we telling you this?

The term ‘gig economy’ isn’t going anywhere, with a spike in those with self-employed status the number of people challenging their employment status in likely to increase. There has never been a more important time to ensure that your agreements for those who are self employed strike the right balance to ensure that they are self employed (or not) both in the reality of the relationship and documentation which governs their obligations and terms of engagement with you as a practice owner.



Don’t leave it to chance if you engage anyone on a self employed basis you need to make sure that you have a carefully drafted agreement in place – and that what happens in reality reflects what is said in that agreement!