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Peter Etherington
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Employment Update for Small Businesses
February 2024

Dear Subscriber

This month I would like to introduce you to Rebekah Swingler (Bekah), who has joined us as a Consultancy Assistant. Also, we have seen an increase in recent months in the need for some clients to make redundancies, so we have included some guidance in this newsletter.
Please contact me if you would like to find out a bit more about any of the subjects raised in this update or if you need any help or advice.

Please forward this email to any of your contacts who might find it of benefit.

Peter Etherington
Tel: 01664 668164


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Peter Etherington
PEELS is Growing!
A Big Welcome to Bekah
Bekah has come on board to provide support to Lindsey and me, and to all our clients. Her role includes drafting contracts and covering letters for any new starters you take on, variation letters, responding to calls and emails from you for advice, supporting those of you who use the Breathe HR software, and lots of work behind the scenes to help improve and develop our back office systems.

Bekah previously worked in the Court Service, so is well used to supporting with legal matters and processes. She is a keen walker but doesn’t have too much time for walking currently due to being a mother to two youngsters, who rely very heavily on her taxi services! Bekah is working with us on a term-time only basis, taking time off during the school holidays.

Downsizing, Restructuring and Reorganisation
Do you need to make redundancies?
No-one likes the “R” word, but from time to time, for many employers, it is inevitable that redundancies need to be considered in the best interests of the organisation. This could be in order to cut costs, to change structures that no longer suit a changing organisation, to respond to more automation or better systems, etc.

Whatever the reason for redundancies, it is important to make sure that it is the job role or roles that need to be removed, and not certain individual employees. It can be problematic to use redundancy to remove a poor performing employee, for example. Having said that, if there is a genuine redundancy situation, it can sometimes give you the opportunity to remove the least productive members of the team, or those who can cause most disruption (but we would advise that you seek our support before making any announcements to the staff).

We have a handy redundancy guide and some Q&As on our website, which I would urge you to read if considering the need for redundancies. Please also contact us so that we can support you with the process.

National Minimum and Living Wage
From 1st April 2024, the minimum wage bands are increasing and changing:

  • to £11.44 per hour for workers aged 21 and over (from £10.42 for 23 and over and from £10.18 for 21 and 22 year olds)
  • to £8.60 per hour (from £7.49) for workers aged 18 to 20
  • to £6.40 per hour (from £5.28) for workers aged 16 and 17; and for apprentices under 19 and those over 19 in their first year*

*N.B. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed at least one year are entitled to the appropriate rate for their age.


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