Research carried out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has suggested that four in ten UK workers are ‘unaware’ that they are entitled to be paid for the time they spend travelling between work appointments.
As part of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) legislation, workers have the right to be paid for time spent travelling between appointments. According to the research, only 39% of employees are aware of this entitlement.
HMRC recently revealed that nearly £24.4 million is owed to 220,000 workers who have been incorrectly paid. This represents a significant rise when compared to 2018’s figure of £15.6 million.
‘We are leaving no stone unturned and are cracking down on employers who fail to pay the NMW and NLW,’ said Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst.
‘All workers deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and, as our latest figures demonstrate, we are recouping more money than ever before for people that have not been paid correctly.’
Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) urged employers to ‘ensure they are meeting their responsibilities to employees’
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the 2019 Spring Statement yesterday, responding to the latest economic forecasts published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
The OBR revised down its previous UK growth forecast from 1.6% to 1.2%. Borrowing has also been revised down from £25.5 billion to £22.8 billion as a result of rising wages and a ‘strong employment market’.
Mr Hammond outlined a handful of measures in the Spring Statement, such as the bringing forward of the £700 million reforms for business apprenticeships, and appointing an expert to review the latest international evidence on the impact of minimum wages, in order to inform future National Living Wage (NLW) policy after 2020.
The Chancellor also announced consultations and publications on possible future changes. These include restricting the Employment Allowance to businesses with an employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bill below £100,000, and reducing the capital gains tax (CGT) private residence relief on the final period exemption from 18 months to nine months.
For a detailed overview of the latest information, read our 2019 Spring Statement summary.
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth consecutive year.
Speaking at the Conservative party conference, the Prime Minister stated that the government is ‘on the side of hard-working families’.
She continued: ‘It’s for them that we cut income tax, introduced a National Living Wage (NLW) and extended free childcare. And froze fuel duty every year.
‘Because for millions of people, their car is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.’
The fuel duty freeze has been criticised by the Green Party. Commenting on the matter, Caroline Lucas MP said: ‘Dirty air is killing thousands of people every year, and the government is breaking the law with its negligent failure to cut pollution. The last thing we need is another subsidy to encourage more cars onto our roads.’
Over the past year, petrol prices have risen by 11.5p per litre, and diesel prices have increased by 14p per litre. Currently, the average petrol price in the UK is 130.6p per litre, whilst the average price for diesel is 134.5p.
Fuel duty will officially be frozen by Chancellor Philip Hammond in the upcoming Autumn Budget, which is set to be delivered on 29 October.
We will be covering all of the key Budget announcements on our website, so please visit regularly.
Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for a radical overhaul of the UK economy, stating that it ‘does not work well’ for most people.
A poll conducted by Sky Data on behalf of the IPPR revealed that 49% of respondents would describe the way that Britain’s economy operates as ‘unfair to some degree’. Just 22% believe that the way the economy works is fair.
The poll also revealed that 80% of those surveyed support ‘greater regulation’ of major digital companies; would welcome the introduction of a new corporation tax on multinational companies; and would like to see the National Living Wage (NLW) rise from its current level of £7.83 per hour to £8.75 an hour, to bring the NLW in line with the current Real Living Wage.
An additional 50% of individuals would support asking the Bank of England to ‘control house price inflation’, and advocate raising taxes on income from wealth to match taxes on income from work.
Commenting on the findings, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: ‘It’s time for a once-in-a-generation rethink of our approach to the economy. Working people have had enough of stagnating living standards and massive inequality.
‘A better deal for working people is possible, and will allow us to build a stronger, fairer economy.’
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Articles include: ‘FSB urges Low Pay Commission to delay National Living Wage rise’ and ‘Business groups respond to Brexit customs papers’. Plus essential dates for September.
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The introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) means that some 3.7 million women will benefit from a pay rise by 2020, according to new research from the Resolution Foundation.
Conor D’Arcy, the think tank’s policy analyst, advises that ‘because of their concentration among the low paid, women will account for the majority of the winners.
This will have a positive – though modest – effect on the gender pay gap, and will particularly help those working part-time’.
Additionally, the report also suggests that 2.3 million male workers will benefit from the introduction of the NLW.
In total, some six million employees – nearly one in every four workers – stand to see their wages increase by 2020 either as a direct or indirect result of the new NLW.
Announced in the Chancellor’s July Budget, the NLW of £7.20 an hour comes into effect in April 2016. This wage will only apply to those workers aged 25 and above.
The research indicates that some workers who already earn more than the recommended NLW will gain from the ‘ripple effect’ of rises.
However, many employees’ earnings will rise in line with the current National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NMW currently stands at £6.50 an hour, rising to £6.70 next month.
Earlier this week, the Government unveiled plans for tougher penalties for employers who fail to meet minimum wage requirements.