The top 10 most read stories: March-April 2017

The top 10 most-read stories on www.employeebenefits.co.uk between 7 March and 24 April 2017 were:

  1. NHS staff to receive 1% pay rise

The NHS Pay Review Body recommended that NHS staff across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland receive a 1% pay rise, effective from 1 April 2017.

2. Tax-free childcare to be rolled out from April 2017

In the Spring Budget 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that the government’s tax-free childcare scheme would be rolled out from April 2017. The policy¬†provides¬†parents with children under the age of 12 up to ¬£2,000 a year per child to help cover¬†childcare costs.

3. Asda offers pay increase under new contract

Asda offered around 135,000 store-based UK employees a pay increase as part of a new contract. As well as minimum pay of £8.50 an hour from October 2017, the contract also includes a flexible-working agreement, unpaid breaks, and changes to night shift hours and pay.

4. Virgin Money reports a 36% mean gender pay gap

Virgin Money had a mean gender pay gap of 36% and a median gender pay gap of 39% at April 2016, according to the financial organisation’s 2016 annual report. This was attributed to the lack of women in senior leadership roles.

5.¬†Firefighters to appeal Employment Tribunal’s decision on pensions age discrimination

The Fire Brigades Union has registered to appeal an Employment Tribunal decision, which¬†ruled¬†that¬†the government’s actions to justify changes to the¬†Firefighters‚Äô¬†Pension Scheme¬†(FPS) was not age discriminatory.

6. Government confirms reduction in money purchase annual allowance

Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed in the Spring Budget 2017 that the money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) would reduce to £4,000 from £10,000. However, on 25 April 2017, it was revealed that the MPAA reduction would not be included in the Finance Bill as planned.

7. Missing comma enables dairy delivery drivers to claim overtime pay

Oakhurst Dairy delivery drivers were able to claim for overtime pay after the United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit ruled that a missing comma in Maine’s overtime law document made one of the overtime exemptions ambiguous.

8. How the Spring Budget 2017 will affect employee benefits

Key announcements from the Spring Budget 2017 included a call for evidence on the exemptions and valuation methodology for the income tax and employer national insurance contribution (NIC) treatment of benefits in kind, as well as amendments to the tax registration process for master trust pension schemes.

9. The tax and legislation changes impacting reward from April 2017

Gender pay gap reporting requirements and increases to the national minimum wage and the national living wage are among the changes that came into effect in April 2017.

10. Tesco to back pay staff after salary sacrifice-linked living wage error

Tesco provided back pay to 140,000 former and current employees after it was discovered that pay had fallen below the national living wage after salary sacrifice deductions. Employees received reimbursement payments of up to £40 each.