5 Things The Employee Benefits World Taught Us This Week – March 20th
This column updates our readers on the most recent UK employee benefits news each week since we feel that as an employee benefits adviser in the UK we have a responsibility to keep you informed. This week was an especially important week with the last budget of this government as well as much more industry news, all outlined below…
1. Minimum Wage To Rise This October
The largest proportional increase of the minimum wage in seven years was announced this week and will come into effect from October. The wage will rise by 3% to £6.70, but the Prime Minister David Cameron was accused of “politicising” the minimum wage as we explain further in this blog post.
2. Under Half Of UK Employees Offer Enhanced Maternity Leave
A study by Wolters Kluwer and Croner has found that only 48% of UK employers offer enhanced maternity leave to their staff.
It also discovered that of those employers which did offer enhanced maternity leave, the most common scheme was of 12 to 13 weeks of full pay.
3. The NHS Is To Offer A Pilot Weight Loss Wellbeing Scheme
The NHS will implement a £134,000 scheme designed to encourage weight loss among staff and will give staff access to benefits such as dieticians, nutritionists and clinicians.
The 10,000 staff of Imperial College Hospitals will be able to trial the scheme before a discussion on whether to extend the scheme to the rest of the NHS’s 700,000 staff.
4. Greener Company Cars Will Be Rewarded
Announced in this week’s Budget was the fact that company car tax rates will increase more slowly for low emission cars, beginning in 2019/20. Tax rates for less environmentally friendly cars will rise more rapidly, thus encouraging employees to use greener company cars.
5. The Personal Tax Allowance Is To Rise
The tax allowance for employees will rise from next April to £10,800 and then to £11,000 from April 2017. The allowance currently stands at £10,600 meaning that these changes are not particularly radical.