BHA asks for HR in Hospitality members opinions

Following the AGM & HR in Hospitality panel event last week we have been asked
by the British Hospitality Association for our members expert opinions, views and
comments on the important government policy points below. This is invaluable in
shaping policy affecting our industry so it is important that our views are included.
Please see below the issues that have been highlighted in brief and where to
comment. It would be great to get some of our member views included in this as
we want to be able to shape what happens in our sector especially as all of these
impact on your people:

Dear HR in Hospitality Members,

I hope all is well with you. Not for the first time, we enter the holiday period with
important consultations being issued on which I should greatly appreciate your
views.

First, there is the annual request from the Low Pay Commission for evidence
towards their next report to include recommendations for increases in the
National Minimum Wage in October 2016. As we know, the work of the
Commission has been thrown up in the air by the Chancellor’s introduction
of the ‘National Living Wage’ (NLW) for over 25s next April. Members of the
Commission met BHA members in Edinburgh on 28 July as part of their annual
round of regional visits. The following is a summary of the points made by the
Commissioners at that meeting:

*Recent announcement of National Living Wage was an unexpected surprise to LPC
*NLW announcement creates a situation which has to be managed by LPC as we
move towards the £9.00ph rate by 2020
*LPC has a role to play in recommending the staged move for the 25yrs and over
rate from £7.20ph in April 2016 to £9.00pm in April 2020
*Alignment of NMW and NLW will happen in April 2017
*Recommendations of the LPC are normally based on Employer feedback and the Economic background with an objective of having minimal impact on employee numbers
*Government accepts that the NLW will have some negative impact on employee numbers. Office for Budgetary Responsibility advised the Government on a range of 25,000 to 100,000 as the likely impact of NLW on employee numbers. Government accepted this outcome.
*NLW will in effect be a premium over the NMW for 25yrs and over.
*Very unlikely that there will be any change to the move to the £9.00 rate by 2020, what has to be managed by the LPC is the staging.
*LPC advised that there  had been a common reaction on the NLW from the hospitality industry, retail industry and care industry.
*LPC advised that the reduction on Corporation Tax would offset some of the additional costs of the NLW

Comments & thoughts
First. We have now received the Commission’s request for a submission- lpc request letter 0715. Given the short deadline, please let me have your views on any aspect of the NMW and the ‘National Living Wage’ by Friday 4 September. We will then seek to issue a draft for any further views, but time for that may be very short with the Commission’s deadline of 25 September. PLEASE RESPOND AS INDICATED ABOVE TO martin.couchman@bha.org.uk

Comments & thoughts
Second, affecting every business with more than 250 employees, is the government’s recent decision to implement section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 on the Gender Pay Gap to require employers to publish information on whether there are differences in the pay of male and female employees.

The Prime Minister announced that this power is to be introduced for employers with at least 250 employees and consultation on the detail has now been published at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444716/Gender_Pay_Gap_Consultation.pdf

With a workforce split around 60:40 female to male and around 50:50 full-time to part-time, the possibility of reputational damage to the hospitality industry arising from the way the Regulations apply is an obvious concern.
The consultation refers to three possible calculations:

(a)  An overall gender pay gap figure by calculating the difference between the earnings of men and women as a percentage of men’s earnings.

(b)  Gender pay gap figures broken down by full-time and part-time employees.

(c)  Gender pay gap figures broken down by grade or job type.

The consultation asks whether respondents could calculate any of these measures from existing data and systems. It is assumed (though not expressly stated) that the final Regulations will specify these as alternatives available to businesses. It is open to respondents to propose alternative ‘metrics’. The 2010 legislation specifically limits the required frequency, so businesses will not have to report more often than annually.

The consultation closes on 6 September, with the intention of the implementing Regulations taking effect during 2016. I should appreciate your views on (i) which data sets, if any, of a, b and c are available within the business and (ii) any alternative ‘metric’ you would prefer. Please respond by Monday 24 August. PLEASE RESPOND AS INDICATED ABOVE TO martin.couchman@bha.org.uk

Comments & thoughts
Third, the government announced on 29 July that the requirement for businesses based in the UK to make annual statements on how they are tackling Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking will apply to those with a worldwide turnover of £36 million. This is the lowest possible figure for ‘large’ companies (the threshold could have been as high as £1 billion, which is what we pressed for in our consultation response) and will affect nearly 18,000 businesses across all sectors. The government response to the consultation and threshold decision is athttps://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/modern-slavery-and-supply-chains We have been invited to attend further Home Office meetings to discuss the guidance on what annual statements could cover. One helpful development is that information on franchises will be excluded from the requirements on franchisors. Any views you have will be welcome. PLEASE RESPOND AS INDICATED ABOVE TO martin.couchman@bha.org.uk

Comments & thoughts
Fourth, we have had some queries from members about the implications of court decisions on including regular overtime in the calculation of holiday pay. A note on this issue, partly based on further discussions with officials at the Department for Business – Holiday Pay on Overtime 0715 what are your thoughts?. PLEASE RESPOND AS INDICATED ABOVE TO martin.couchman@bha.org.uk

Comments & thoughts
Fifth, affecting England only, the government is proposing to prohibit the use of the term ‘apprenticeship’ or ‘apprentice’ in relation to any course or training in England unless it is in relation to a Government funded apprenticeship. This would not affect employers who would be free to offer any training to their own employees and apprentices (including those with contracts of apprenticeship). The consultation on this proposal, closing on 19 August, is at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/449066/BIS-15-405-consultation-on-preventing-misuse-of-the-term-apprenticeship.pdf Any or all comments would be welcome by Thursday 13 August. PLEASE RESPOND AS INDICATED ABOVE TO martin.couchman@bha.org.uk

Finally, the Migration Advisory Committee is consulting (to 25 September) on further tightening of the rules for non-EU/EEA workers. Under the existing rules, fewer than 60 chefs were admitted last year and it is possible that ‘chefs’ will lose their Shortage Occupation status altogether. There are other issues covered in the consultation at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/call-for-evidence-review-tier-2-route and, if you have any comments, please let me have them by Friday 11 September. PLEASE RESPOND AS INDICATED ABOVE TO martin.couchman@bha.org.uk