Policy News Journal - 2016-17

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals ……………………………………………………………Policy News Journal

campaign aims to double the amount raised by Payroll Giving for charities to £260m annually, by increasing the number of employees giving through pay from one million, to two million within the next five years.

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Employment continues at record high 17 November 2016

The unemployment rate has dropped to an 11-year low of just 4.8%, down by more than 900,000 since 2010, according to figures released by the ONS.

The UK Labour Market statistics for November 2016 confirm that employment continues to run at a record high rate of 74.5%, with 31.8 million people in work – an increase of almost 2.8 million since 2010.

There are 461,000 more people in work compared to this time last year, and 49,000 more compared to the previous quarter’s figures.

The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work, which is up by 2 million since 2010. And long- term unemployment is the lowest it has been since 2008.

Average wages including bonuses grew by 2.3% over the last year, as the claimant count remained at 2.3%, close to its lowest rate since 1975

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Changes to penalties for using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving 17 November 2016

The government are raising the fixed penalty points for this offence from 3 to 6 for all drivers and the fine from £100 to £200 for all motor vehicles.

It is important that all drivers, including those of company vehicles, be aware that the Department for Transport intends to lay legislation before Parliament to change the ‘penalties for using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving’ as soon as possible to:  raise the fixed penalty points issued under a fixed penalty notice for this offence from 3 to 6 for all drivers  raise the fixed penalty notice fine from £100 to £200 for all motor vehicles.

Geographical extent – when these regulation changes come into force they will apply to England, Scotland and Wales (GB only).

Background A consultation ran at the beginning of 2016 to seek views on proposals to increase penalty points and fixed penalty notice (FPN) levels for using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving. This consultation originally proposed increasing the penalty points from 3 to 4 points for non-HGV drivers, 3 to 6 points for those that hold a large goods vehicle (HGV) licence and commit the offence whilst driving an HGV, and increasing the fine level from £100 to £150 for all drivers.

However following analysis of the consultation responses , the department decided to proceed with higher increases as outlined in the bullet points above.

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