Financial Services Office Manager, Full Time, Stirling, CIRCA £30,000 pa
De Beul Kerr are seeking a dynamic, assertive and diligent Financial Services Office Manager to lead our office team in Stirling.
The successful candidate will help manage the day-to-day running of this busy office, supporting the Managing Director, the team and is also expected to become involved with Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) provision as appropriate.
The ideal candidate must have previous experience of working within an Independent Financial Adviser practice and accustomed to liaising with clients and providers. It is essential, therefore, that you are Level 4 qualified or equivalent FPC (Financial Planning Certificate) or that you have a willingness to work towards this qualification.
The following skills/attributes are also essential;
• Excellent relationship management skills with the ability to quickly establish credibility and build sound relationships and trust
• An ability to represent the business as required in a professional way
• An ability to use initiative and take decisions with little need for escalation
• Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to develop and maintain strong relationships
• The ability to handle difficult situations through to successful harmonious outcomes.
• A confident individual who has experience of managing people
• Strong planning and organisational skills with the ability to meet deadlines with flexibility, and manage conflicting priorities
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written with the ability to deliver messages to a clearly with authority
• Good analytical and problem-solving skills
• The ability to contribute and work as part of a team to achieve the desired business outcomes
• The ability to work under pressure to achieve tasks of the role
• Tenacity in achieving the best outcomes to meet business needs
• Resilience at all times evidencing adaptability to unexpected change
This is a great opportunity for someone who thrives in a fast paced environment and enjoys working in a team environment.
Please email CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 9th February 2018
Ryanair asked to answer tricky questions – again!
Ryanair has been referred to employment and tax authorities for investigation by two parliamentary committees, citing the airline’s “refusal to cooperate” with inquiries over crew pay and conditions.
Late last year, Ryanair declined to answer further questions about pay and employment practices, after an initial response failed to satisfy MPs.
The committees sought more information after reports that cabin crew were required to work for free, pay for training and uniforms and take significant periods of unpaid leave, which suggested that agency workers were receiving less than the living wage.
A letter from Ryanair’s HR director, sent on 21 December, said crew earned between £21,150 and £35,250 a year, double the legal minimum for the work carried out. However, MPs said that the letter ignored many of their questions while the pay figures did not tally with a contract they had seen.
UK sick pay shame
Statutory sick pay and Government assistance for jobless and self-employed people in the UK have been found to breach international legal obligations. The amount of money available to those claiming statutory sick pay and employment support allowance is “manifestly inadequate”, according to the guardians of an international charter, ratified by the UK in 1962.
It has been further ruled that a change in the law three years ago to lower the level of health and safety regulation that apply to the self-employed has created a discriminatory system that does not conform to the European social charter – a legally binding counterpart to the European convention on human rights.
The rulings were made last week by the European committee of social rights, a monitoring body of the 47-nation Council of Europe, an international organisation formed in the wake of the second world war to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The committee found that sick and unemployed people were, in many cases, receiving less than 40% of the median income in the UK, which it said was £152.22 a week, although some were in receipt of top-up payments.
A DWP spokesperson said: “Our welfare system is among the best in the world and we are committed to helping people improve their lives. We spend over £90bn a year supporting people of working age, including those who are out of work or on a low income.”
Record employment statistics
The number of people in employment has reached a record high. The latest Office of National Statistics figures show that total employment rose to 32.2 million in November, raising the employment rate to 75.3%. This is the joint highest rate recorded since comparable records began in the early 1970s. However despite apparent strong demand, some people still spend lengthy periods unemployed.
Roughly 20%, 30% and 40% of young (18-24), prime age (25-49) and older (50+) unemployed respectively have been out of work for more than a year, which suggests a structural problem within the labour market.
Redundancy might cost more after April this year
Redundancy payments could be more expensive when tax changes are introduced in April. Businesses faced with making difficult redundancy decisions may not be aware that the tax rules applicable to redundancy payments are due to change. These changes could mean that redundancies made after April are more expensive for employers – and cost the redundant employees more in tax and national insurance (NI).
The new rule that will have the most impact in the short-term is that both contractual and non-contractual payments in lieu of notice (PILONs) will be taxable and subject to Class 1 NICs. Before April, non-contractual PILONs can be tax and NI free if they fall within the standard exemption threshold of £30,000.
There is no hard-and-fast rule governing whether a contract of employment will have a PILON clause. Some contracts give employers the opportunity to make an employee a payment equal to what they would have earned in their notice period and require them to cease working immediately. Others will stipulate a notice period but not give the employer the alternative of making a payment instead.
Until April, if there is no PILON clause in the contract and the employer and employee agree to terminate the employment immediately, and there is a payment in compensation for the breach of contract and for not allowing the employee to work their notice period, this is generally accepted. The payment is treated as part of the £30,000 tax-free termination payment exemption to which all employees are entitled.
Employers that may be anticipating making redundancies should make sure they understand the new rules as these changes could significantly increase the cost of making termination payments. While clearly not the government’s intention, making redundancies more expensive in tax and NI terms after April will encourage some employers to make their redundancies ahead of this date to keep their costs down.
Statistics behind the gender pay gap
Women begin earning less than men on average after just five years in a role, according to official figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which attempt to offer context to the ongoing discussion around gender pay in the UK.
The report found that although women are paid 3.8% more than men on average when they are in a job for less than a year, by the time they have worked five years, a significant gender pay gap in favour of men has opened that continues throughout their careers. A man who works in the same organisation can expect to earn a 20.8% rise over that period, when other factors such as role are discounted, with the equivalent figure for women standing at 17.5%.
Full-time men earn more than full-time women on average across every occupation. The study suggested that job type has the largest impact on the pay gap, closely followed by age. The gap widens dramatically from the age of 40 – which correlates with the time women typically return to work after raising children – and peaks between 50 and 59, which aligns with the age they often step back from work to care for ageing parents.
Close to two-thirds of the UK’s overall gender pay gap, however, was ‘unexplained’, said the report, meaning it was not obviously affected by occupation, tenure, sector or other typical mitigating factors.
A very different pay gap picture is painted for freelancers and the self-employed, however as research has found the gender pay gap to be ‘virtually extinct’ among this group of workers.
How many managers are working an extra day a week?
Managers are working an extra 44 days a year over and above their contracted hours, according to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Of the 1,037 managers polled, the average manager works one extra day each week. This is an extra 7.5 hours beyond their contracted weekly hours, adding up to an extra 43.8 days over the course of the year.
Long hours are having a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of managers. One in ten managers said they took time off for mental health in the last year, and for those who do take time out, it’s for an average of 12 days. Long office hours combined with the expectation to answer emails is eating into home life, leaving managers with little chance of respite and increasing stress levels. Improving the quality of working life for managers is thought to be a major step forward to solving the UK’s productivity crisis.
It is thought that the impact of Brexit and the continuing political uncertainty is starting to undermine job security and sense of well-being.
What most influenced 2017 in employment law?
We summarise the most influential employment decisions in 2017:
Employment tribunal fees abolished
The abolition of tribunal fees will change the landscape for employers in respect of employment tribunal claims. On 14 December 2017, statistics published by the Ministry of Justice for July to September 2017 showed a 64 % increase in single applicant claims since the abolition of fees.
As well as new claims, employers may have to defend old claims that were struck out because the claimant did not pay the fee or was deterred from bringing their claim because of the fees. It will be decided case by case whether such claims can be brought ‘out of time’.
Backdated pay for untaken holiday
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that an employee who had established ‘worker’ status was entitled to pay for both unpaid holiday he had taken and holiday he did not take because he thought it would be unpaid.
Unlike holiday, which carries over during sick leave and can be lost after a certain period, the ECJ found that there was no time limit on the untaken leave that had accrued because the company failed to provide the worker with his right to paid holiday. The ruling meant that he could claim untaken leave for his 13 years’ engagement. The Court of Appeal will now decide whether the ECJ judgment is consistent with UK law and therefore no ruling is yet in place, but watch this space for further judgment.
Worker status in the gig economy
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the employment tribunal’s 2016 decision that Uber drivers were ‘workers’ and not self-employed. Uber’s request to leapfrog its appeal to the Supreme Court was refused and a Court of Appeal hearing is expected. Other gig economy cases followed the same trend, namely the Court of Appeal ruling in Pimlico Plumbers v Smith, in addition to several employment tribunal decisions that couriers at CitySprint, Excel and Addison Lee were workers.
It is for employers to ascertain the true employment status of their workforce, regardless of what the parties agree. Engaging staff on a self-employed basis when in reality they are ‘workers’ means they are entitled to the national minimum wage, paid holiday and pension auto-enrolment. The Supreme Court will hear Pimlico Plumbers’ high-profile appeal on 20 February 2018.
Voluntary overtime to be included in holiday pay
The EAT has found that regular voluntary overtime should be included when calculating holiday pay. Consequently, guaranteed compulsory, non-guaranteed compulsory and voluntary overtime must all be included in holiday pay. For voluntary overtime, the test is whether the ‘pattern of work’ extends for a sufficient period of time on a regular and/or recurring basis to justify the description ‘normal’. This ruling only applies to the four weeks’ leave guaranteed under EU law, not the additional 1.6 weeks’ under UK law or any other contractual leave.
Enhanced shared parental pay for fathers
Should shared parental pay (ShPP) be enhanced for fathers on shared parental leave (SPL) if maternity pay is enhanced for mothers on maternity leave? The answer was yes in a recent case where a father successfully argued that enhanced maternity pay for his female colleagues and no enhanced ShPP for him constituted direct sex discrimination.
The case is being appealed and if upheld, employers will need to treat ShPP and maternity pay equally and enhance (or not enhance) both.
Ill or working from home?
It is reported that millions of sick workers feeling pressured to work from home rather than take full absence leave when they are unwell. The new study found that pressure from line managers combined with the weight of work waiting for them on their return to the office is forcing four in 10 employees to take calls and respond to emails during a sick day away from the office. On average, employees who stay at home due to illness end up receiving or making three phone calls and dealing with nine emails from their sick bed.
It appears that workplace perceptions around illness are causing employees to work despite being ill, with 22% saying that calling in sick is frowned upon in their workplace, with over a quarter admitting to feeling guilty for having time off. One in four stated that their managers expect them to work through a sick day, with a third adding that their manager asked them to pick things up on a sick day.
Despite this, the average Brit has called in sick just twice in the past year, but there were at least four other times where they wanted to stay home, but felt like they couldn’t.
Is Carillion the tip of the iceberg?
Nearly half a million businesses across the UK started the 2018 year in “significant” financial distress, according to the latest Red Flag statistics from insolvency specialist, Begbies Traynor. The latest quarterly report from Begbies, covering the fourth quarter of 2017, found 493,296 were in significant financial distress, up 36% on Q4 of 2016 and a rise of 10% on the previous quarter.
Begbies said more than quarter of a million businesses across the UK – 258,349 – ended the 2017 year, “in a position of negative net worth” and 154,251 businesses had shown “a worrying increase in their working capital deficit”.
The sharp rise in financial distress was blamed on the 0.25% interest rate increase last November to 0.5%, high inflation, stagnant real wage growth, the weak pound and wider political uncertainty.
Instances of significant financial distress were visible across “every sector and region of the UK over the past 12 months”, with support services the worst performing -up 43% on 2016. Support services, construction and real estate accounted for 45% of the total in significant financial distress at the end of Q4.
It was reported that the impact of continued political and economic uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations also cannot be underestimated.