Newsletter Issue 12 – March 2022
Welcome to the March issue of the Fast Forward Newsletter. This month’s news and signposts to helpful guidance are on:
Fast Forward News and Resources
- WEBINAR: Wages, labour costing and National Minimum Wage 2022
- SEP – This months new resources on family rights
- Sky pilots Fast Forward audits during the construction of its Innovation Centre
- Stronger Together publishes impact assessment
- EU Commission publishes legislative proposal on corporate accountability
- Recommendations for effective human rights due diligence
- Just Good Work – Reports on milestones and achievements from their past year
- The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme will close on 17th March
- New COVID-19 influencer and stakeholder toolkit
- Immigration and Right To Work update
We’d also like to get your feedback whether you’re a brand, supplier, factory, warehouse or other organisation. Please do get in touch.
The Fast Forward Team
FAST FORWARD NEWS
WEBINAR: Wages, labour costing and National Minimum Wage 2022
Tuesday 5th April 10-11am
The National Minimum Wage will be increasing from April 2022 to £9.50 an hour for 23 years+, representing a 6.6% increase on 2021 rates. Join us for this interactive webinar sharing practical steps you can implement into your business to help prepare for the increase through effective labour costing and communication with relevant business partners. BOOK HERE
Supplier Engagement Programme (SEP)
This month’s new resources on family rights
|Checklist for the Management of Expectant Parents at Work||SEP sign-in to download|
|Pregnant Employees Risk Assessment – Template||SEP sign-in to download|
|Shared Parental Leave Notice – Template||SEP sign-in to download|
|Shared Parental Leave – Notice to vary – Template||SEP sign-in to download|
|FAQs including: ‘What counts as working time’ and ‘Self-employed workers’||SEP sign-in to view|
SEP forum and a range of benefits including labour standards training, webinars, practical guidance and template resources to support and help strengthen your business,
Sky pilots Fast Forward audits in the construction sector
Sky has published a case study on its collaborative project with ISG and Stronger Together to understand and address the risks of exploitation and modern slavery during the construction of the Sky Innovation Centre. The project included piloting Fast Forward audits with a number of subcontractors involved in the construction. Read the case study to find out more.
Stronger Together publishes impact assessment
Our sister organisation, Stronger Together, has published the findings of an independent impact assessment undertaken in late 2021. The assessment was carried out to assess the impact of the Stronger Together UK Consumer Goods Programme which supports businesses to mitigate modern slavery within their own operations and global supply chains. READ MORE HERE
EU Commission publishes legislative proposal on corporate accountability
On 23 February 2022, the Commission published its proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence draft Directive. To read the proposal, follow an up to date timeline of progress or watch public webinars visit Business and Human Rights Resource Center.
Recommendations for effective human rights due diligence
A new report by Know the Chain, identifies over a third of high risk sectors including apparel and footwear do not show any evidence that they are assessing human rights risks and four out of five provide no evidence that they are adopting responsible purchasing practices. Recommendations for companies are:
- To conduct robust worker-centric human rights due diligence with strong stakeholder engagement, involving workers in risk assessment processes, the design and operation of grievance mechanisms, and worker-driven monitoring
- To disclose supplier lists beyond the first tier
- To use human rights due diligence findings to inform and develop responsible purchasing practices to mitigate human rights risks
- To use their influence and resources to support mandatory human rights due diligence legislative processes and other efforts by policy-makers to level the playing field in business.
Read the full report for details of Know the Chain’s recommendations.
Just Good Work reports on
milestones from the past year
Key milestones include:
- Expanded routes to 21 countries and 22 languages
- More than 300,000 jobseekers and workers reached with key information and advice to safely navigate recruitment and access employment
So What’s Ahead?
- In partnership with the design team at Pretty Clever Studio, the Just Good Work app is getting a whole new look, making it more visual and overcoming barriers for low literacy users
- Expanding functionality to help digitise the recruitment process more seamlessly for employers, recruiters, jobseekers and workers
Just Good Work is a free, interactive mobile app giving jobseekers and workers from the UK or abroad critical information and advice on recruitment and employment. The Fast Forward audit now requires businesses to display the Just Good Work poster.
Posters are now available for download in six languages from the Fast Forward website: Albanian, Bulgarian, English, Gujarati, Polish and Romanian.
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme
will close on 24 March for absence periods up to 17 March
Employers have until 24 March 2022 to submit any new claims for absence periods up to 17 March 2022, or to amend claims already submitted. Employers will no longer be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for workers’ coronavirus-related absences
or self-isolation that occur after 17 March 2022. From 25 March, the UK will return to the normal SSP rules, which means employers can revert to paying SSP from the fourth qualifying day the worker is off work regardless of the reason for their sickness absence.
Immigration and Right To Work update
The end date for the Coronavirus temporary adjusted right to work checks has now been deferred to 30 September 2022 This is intended to ensure employers have sufficient time to develop commercial relationships with Identity Document Verification Technology (IDVT) service providers should they wish to.
From 6th April 2022, the government will introduce IDVT checks which will enable a statutory excuse to be obtained without being in physical possession of ID documents. This will apply to UK and Irish passports and Irish identify cards. Using IDVT allows people to upload images of their personal documents, instead of presenting physical documents to a prospective employer – reducing time and mitigating risk. However, this will come at a cost to employers who will pay accredited private sector IDVT service providers to undertake these checks. Employers using IDVT checks will still need to meet the person to check that their image corresponds with their appearance in person, although this can be done via an online meeting as well as face to face.
RTW checks will continue to be the responsibility of the employer, although employers that use certified IDVT providers will have a strong defence if a worker is identified as working unlawfully. 1 in 5 people have no appropriate documentation to access the digital checking system and so there is a need to ensure that such people are not discriminated against by employers who insist on digital RTW checks.
New Covid toolkit for employers
Cabinet Office have shared their latest COVID-19 influencer and stakeholder toolkit. The key messages are that England has returned to Plan A and fully vaccinated international travellers will no longer have to test.
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