This Week's News 06.10.17

Date for your diaries - PSN meeting 17th October

What time?
Registration and refreshments from 5.30 pm. Meeting 6.00 pm - 8.30 pm

School of Management Building, University of Surrey, Stag Hill Campus, Guildford, GU2 7XH

You should already have received an invite via email. If you haven't already done so, please RSVP to ten/dtl-sti//ofni. The agenda is available here.

Change in policy for learning loans

In her speech to the Conservative Party conference, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced that the amount adult learners will have to earn before paying back their tuition fees through the FE loans system will rise from £21,000 to £25,000 a year.

Apprenticeship Agreements

An Apprenticeship Agreement is an agreement between an employer and an apprentice under which the apprentice undertakes to work for the employer and is in the form prescribed by Section 32 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCLA).

The ASCLA makes it clear that the Apprenticeship Agreement is a contract of service and not a contract of Apprenticeship. This reflects the fact that an Apprenticeship is primarily a job rather than training.

You must sign an Apprenticeship Agreement with your apprentice. This must give details of what you agree to do for the apprentice, including:

  • how long you'll employ them as an apprentice for
  • the training you'll give them
  • their working conditions
  • the qualifications they are working towards

You can write your own apprenticeship agreement or download an apprenticeship agreement template. We understand some employers use the contracts available through their NHF (National Hairdressers' Federation) membership. Please note that the apprentice should be given a copy of their Apprenticeship Agreement to keep.

This is not to be confused with the Commitment Statement, which is a statement we produce and is signed by the apprentice, the employer, ITS and a parent/guardian (if applicable).

Children are being taught to 'run, hide, tell' if caught in a terror attack

Children and young people are being told to 'run, hide, tell' as part of a new campaign aiming to educate youngsters on what to do if they are caught up in a terror attack. Police chiefs spoke out this week as part of the new push, which is aimed at ensuring children and teenagers know the key safety steps to follow. In the first initiative of its kind, the UK's counter-terrorism police network is also calling for the 'run, hide, tell' message to be routinely taught in schools as part of the national curriculum. We have been posting the 'run, hide, tell' message on our Facebook page for over 10 months. Officers added that children should know they need to flee the scene of a terrorist attack - rather than getting their smartphones out to take photos or record video. They highlighted the recent episode at Parsons Green, where images of a partially exploded bomb on a Tube train were posted online within minutes. The new push comes after a wave of atrocities in 2017, including the Manchester bombing, in which a pop concert packed with young fans was targeted. Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D'Orsi, the national policing lead for protective security, said: "We appreciate that talking to young people about terrorism can be scary, for parents and children alike.  But the atrocities in London and Manchester have sadly resulted in some of the youngest victims of terror this country has ever seen. If we are able to teach children to act in a way which could potentially save their lives then it is our responsibility to do so. We are particularly concerned when we see people - young and old - using their mobiles to film scenes when they should be moving away from the danger. The recent incident in Parsons Green is a good example of this. Our research showed that many young people think filming would be a good thing to provide evidence for police. We must get them to understand that the priority must be their safety." Celebrities including TV star Bear Grylls and England footballer Jamie Vardy are behind the campaign - read more.

Managing annual leave: dos and don'ts for line managers

Allowing staff to build up too much annual leave and not spread out their holidays over the year can be a major problem for employers

This could occur if there is an excess of work to do or a business is struggling because of the economic climate. Employees may feel that they are simply not in a position to take annual leave at certain times during the year without putting their job at risk. Employers should therefore encourage employees to plan and take annual leave, to help maintain employees' health and motivation. This will also prevent the workforce from building up an excessive amount of leave to take at the end of the leave year. Typically, the responsibility for monitoring annual leave is allocated to line managers, who should periodically check their employees' annual leave balance and remind staff that they need to use the holiday up by the end of the leave year.

"Buying out" employees' annual leave entitlement

An employer may be tempted to offer staff a cash substitute in return for giving up their annual leave entitlement, for example to solve a staffing crisis, complete a big project, or tackle a build-up of accrued but untaken holiday across its workforce. However, it is a fundamental principle of annual leave law that an employer cannot give employees payment in lieu of their minimum statutory annual leave entitlement (i.e. the 5.6 weeks guaranteed under UK law). The exception to this is on termination of employment. When an employee leaves a job part way through the holiday year, he or she will be entitled to be paid for any accrued statutory holiday not taken at the date of termination.

Allowing employees to carry over excessive amounts of holiday

If the rules on 'buying out' annual leave are strict, what about simply allowing employees who have not taken their full entitlement to carry over holiday into subsequent leave years? EU law prevents employers from carrying over the first four weeks of employees' statutory annual leave, except when an employee is unable to take the leave because of sickness absence. If it is not taken, it is lost. Beyond the first four weeks of statutory annual leave, employers have more leeway to permit employees to carry forward periods of annual leave. However, you should check contracts of employment and policies and procedures to clarify whether or not carry over is permitted and what rules have been set.

Allowing too many employees to take leave at the same time

One of the biggest dangers for employers is the knock-on effect on the business of allowing too many employees to take time off during particularly busy periods. Line managers can sometimes be reluctant to turn down employees' holiday requests, particularly if an employee has already planned out a trip or has a family commitment. However, you are reminded that employers are not obliged to agree to a worker's request to take holiday at a particular time, unless the contract of employment contract provides otherwise. Employers should have a clear policy on holiday requests (typically, a 'first-come, first-served' approach). Line managers should be brave enough to turn down holiday requests (with the correct notice) when the timing of leave would cause the business difficulties.

Not paying employees the right amount during annual leave

In recent years, perhaps the single biggest employment law headache for UK employers has revolved around the calculation of holiday pay. You should now be aware that it is no longer permissible to calculate holiday pay on the basis of an employee's basic pay only. Case law has established that pay during annual leave should now include other payments such as overtime pay (both compulsory and voluntary), commission, standby/call-out allowances, shift premia and travel allowances. Employers need to decide on a sensible approach to holiday pay calculations, particularly the length of time used to calculate the average (with 12 weeks being a popular suggestion) and what allowances should be included (if in doubt, include it). A holiday pay miscalculation across the workforce could be costly in the long run.

  • Do encourage staff to submit dates for their holiday as far in advance as possible.
  • Do review regularly whether or not employees have taken, or at least planned to take, some of their holiday leave.
  • Do remind employees periodically how much annual leave they have outstanding.
  • Do ask any employee who has not taken any holiday or submitted any holiday dates by for example the middle of the holiday year to nominate holiday dates as a matter of urgency.
  • Do ensure that holiday leave is planned in such a way that the business has adequate cover at all times.
  • Do be proactive in the management of holiday.
  • Don't leave the matter of holiday to chance.
  • Don't take the view that it is up to each individual to decide whether or not he or she wants to take holiday.
  • Don't wait until near the end of the holiday year before reviewing whether or not employees have taken all their holiday.
  • Don't give in to employees' requests for pay in lieu of holiday.
  • Don't make staff feel guilty about taking holiday.

Team ITS warmly welcomes this learner who started her Apprenticeship this week

Rebecca Pratt - Level 2 Hair Professional Apprenticeship - Cabello, Frimley

Congratulations to the following learners who completed their Apprenticeships this week

Bethany Peters - Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship - Tina's, Headley
Lucy Rios Wallace - Level 3 Hair Professional Apprenticeship - Macco, West Byfleet


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