All taxi drivers now eligible for enhanced CRB check
21st May 2012
All taxi licensing authorities can now request enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks before issuing licences to taxi and private hire vehicle drivers.
This means licensing authorities can find out if someone is barred by the Independent Safeguarding Authority from working with children or vulnerable adults before issuing a licence.
The changes will help to simplify the system of criminal record checks, and provide reassurance to women and other vulnerable passengers who use taxis and mini-cabs.
Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities and Criminal Information, said: “Taxi drivers provide a vital service so it is only right that the public are confident proper checks have been carried out.
“Good recruitment practices are a key responsibility for all employers. These changes will ensure that licensing authorities have access to relevant information to make informed decisions before granting taxi licences.”
Until the change came into force on 26 March, only taxi and private hire vehicle drivers who regularly picked up vulnerable adults or children were eligible for enhanced checks and the change has standardised this practice for all drivers.
Tighter checks on taxi drivers are part of what the government has referred to as its “radical overhaul of the criminal records regime and vetting and barring scheme, scaling it back to common sense levels, while still ensuring adequate protections are in place where they are needed most.”
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Government Seeks Views on Dismissal Rules
13th May 2012
The government has announced proposals to examine the current dismissal process with the publication of a ‘Call for Evidence’. Ministers are to seek the views of employers and employees, and gather evidence from interested parties, on whether current dismissal procedures are too onerous, too complex and whether or not there is a lack of understanding in their application.
Views are also requested on the idea of compensated no-fault dismissal for micro-businesses (those with fewer than 10 employees).
Under such a system, a micro-business would be able to dismiss an employee where no fault had been identified on the part of the employee, with the payment of a set amount of compensation.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“The UK already has one of the world’s most flexible, adaptable labour markets, making it one of our strengths and it stands up very well in international comparisons. However, we recognise that there is room for improvement which balances the needs of business while ensuring that the necessary employment protections are upheld.
“We are already implementing a radical package of reforms to the employment tribunal system and increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal from one to two years. These are all measures that will help improve the way businesses hire, manage and end a working relationship.
“We want to give businesses the confidence to hire new staff and make sure when a dismissal needs to be made, they aren’t tied up in red tape. This is an effort to see how extensive the problem is and shed some light on the desire for a change to the rules.”
Through its Call for Evidence, the government is seeking to establish a strong evidence base on the current understanding of the dismissal process, including awareness, understanding and use of the Acas Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance. The government is seeking the views of employees, business organisations and all other interested parties.
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Those wishing to respond to the Call for Evidence should visit the BIS website at www.bis.gov.uk (search by date order for: call for evidence dismissal). The Call for Evidence closes on Friday 8 June 2012.
Minimum Wage Frozen for Some
9th May 2012
With the exception of apprentices, the National Minimum Wage rates for under-21s will be frozen until October 2013 in order to “...minimise the barriers to job creation”, the government has announced.
Government ministers have accepted the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation that the rate for 16-17 year olds should remain at £3.68 an hour, and that the rate for 18-20 year olds should remain at £4.98 an hour.
However, from the first pay period on or after 1 October 2012 the adult rate will increase by 11p (1.8%) to £6.19 an hour and the apprentice rate will increase by 5p (1.9%) to £2.65 an hour. The accommodation offset will increase by 9p to £4.82 a day.
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Citation launch free online training tool for clients
1st May 2012
Citation plc has launched Cittrainer, a free online training resource that enables Citation clients to develop their employees’ health & safety and employment law knowledge and understanding.
Lindsay Hill, Managing Director of Citation, commented: “Cittrainer helps our clients to manage and develop their employees’ understanding of health & safety and employment law compliance.
In addition to the expert advice that they already receive on an ongoing basis, Citation clients now have a purpose-built tool for training their staff in these areas.”
Lindsay says that training and development is an invaluable aspect in maintaining compliance and standards, adding: “That’s why we’ve developed a number of courses for our clients to use immediately and will continue to develop additional training materials. Combined with our other online tools for monitoring and reporting compliance in these areas, Citation clients have a resource at their fingertips that is unmatched in our industry.”
For a demonstration of Cittrainer, call 0845 234 0404.
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