Press release: Business Secretary calls on universities to tackle violence against women on campus

Universities UK has been asked to set up and lead the taskforce with the support of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The taskforce will work with the higher education sector, to develop a code of practice to bring about cultural change, leverage existing complaints mechanisms more effectively and improve engagement with Crime Prevention Officers.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Nobody should be put off going to University because of fears about their safety. If my children choose that path, I would expect my daughter to be as safe as my son on any campus in this country. This taskforce will ensure that universities have a plan to stamp out violence against women and provide a safe environment for all their students.

We do not tolerate this behaviour in any part of society and I’m not prepared to let it take place on university campuses unchecked.

The taskforce is expected to be convened in the autumn (2015) and work over a 12 month period.

In a letter to Nicola Dandridge, CEO of Universities UK, the taskforce has been asked to:

  • develop a code of practice for institutions to support cultural change
  • explore how a kitemark scheme could be developed and awarded to successful institutions
  • explore how better to engage with Crime Prevention Officers
  • ensure best use of the existing complaints mechanisms such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and, for students, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator
  • encourage institutions to ensure that the right links are in place with existing local activity, including through the Home Office Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy

Universities Minister, Jo Johnson said:

“Universities already take their responsibilities for the safety of all students incredibly seriously. They have strong clear legal duties through the Equalities Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty. This task force will make sure that the universities are doing all they can to meet their legal obligations and, will see where they can go further.

The taskforce will report back to the Universities Minister Jo Johnson and the Secretary of State for the Department for Business.

Notes to editors

  1. Official data is not available but 1 in 7 women responding to the NUS Hidden Marks survey had experienced a serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student. Over 2 thirds had experienced verbal or non-verbal harassment, including groping, flashing and unwanted sexual comments, and 12% of respondents had been subjected to stalking.
  2. We have asked Universities UK to set up the task force and will confirm full membership in due course.
  3. Many universities are currently involved in campaigns and initiatives, often with Students’ Unions, to help guarantee student safety. Nationally, Universities UK has been working with others such as the Equality Challenge Unit on lad culture, sexual harassment and sexual violence at universities.
  4. Universities UK Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge last week published a blog on the scale of the issue and the work institutions are doing.
  5. The Universities UK taskforce will complement the government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, led by the Home Office. We will be publishing a new Strategy in the autumn (2015) and are consulting on it at the moment.

Source Article from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-secretary-calls-on-universities-to-tackle-violence-against-women-on-campus

News story: UK Government demonstrates support for vital South Wales industries

Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb and Business Minister Anna Soubry visited General Dynamics in South Wales today (2 September) to see how innovation is attracting investment to the region. They also visited steel companies Tata and Celsa to discuss the challenges the industry faces and how the UK Government can support it.

At General Dynamics in Oakdale, they saw first-hand the design and development of SCOUT SV. In July, the Prime Minister announced that General Dynamics had won a support contract for Scout Specialist Vehicles. Along with a £3.5 billion deal last year to manufacture 589 armoured vehicles, the company is creating 250 jobs at the new facility in Oakdale.

Secretary of State Stephen Crabb said:

The substantial investment announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year is a clear example of this Government’s determination to rebalance the economy and strengthen every part of the UK.

Thanks to companies like General Dynamics producing world leading secure communications equipment and state of the art armoured vehicles, Wales will continue to play a vital role in keeping British soldiers safe in the field.

Wales’ growing reputation for harnessing innovation and manufacturing cutting edge products further demonstrates why our country is such a great place to do business.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

General Dynamics UK is a South Wales success story. The company are enjoying success with the Scout Specialist Vehicle and are constantly investing in innovation, research and new ideas so that they develop the products of the future – products that can bring new growth opportunities and jobs to Wales.

Wales is an important hub of high skilled manufacturing and we will continue to back it as part of our drive to rebalance the economy.

Stephen Crabb and Anna Soubry also visited the company’s EDGE facility where they work closely with small businesses and academia by providing expertise and equipment to help develop innovative solutions for defence projects.

In private meetings with Tata Steel and Celsa Steel they discussed the current market conditions and challenges facing the sector.

Stephen Crabb said:

The steel industry is a crucial part of the manufacturing sector in South Wales and is very important to many local communities. However, we should be under no illusions about the significant challenges the industry faces.

We are doing everything we can to support all areas of manufacturing, including the steel industry. By supporting energy intensive industries and promoting the UK as a great partner for trade and investment we can ensure that our long term plan continues to strengthen the dynamic economy in South Wales.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

It was important that I came and spoke directly with steelmakers in Wales today to further understand the challenges they face and their plans for the future.

The steel industry is facing very tough global economic conditions, but my department is providing support where we can and we’ll continue to work closely with the sector.

Source Article from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-demonstrates-support-for-vital-south-wales-industries

News story: UK Government demonstrates support for vital South Wales industries

Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb and Business Minister Anna Soubry visited General Dynamics in South Wales today (2 September) to see how innovation is attracting investment to the region. They also visited steel companies Tata and Celsa to discuss the challenges the industry faces and how the UK Government can support it.

At General Dynamics in Oakdale, they saw first-hand the design and development of SCOUT SV. In July, the Prime Minister announced that General Dynamics had won a support contract for Scout Specialist Vehicles. Along with a £3.5 billion deal last year to manufacture 589 armoured vehicles, the company is creating 250 jobs at the new facility in Oakdale.

Secretary of State Stephen Crabb said:

The substantial investment announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year is a clear example of this Government’s determination to rebalance the economy and strengthen every part of the UK.

Thanks to companies like General Dynamics producing world leading secure communications equipment and state of the art armoured vehicles, Wales will continue to play a vital role in keeping British soldiers safe in the field.

Wales’ growing reputation for harnessing innovation and manufacturing cutting edge products further demonstrates why our country is such a great place to do business.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

General Dynamics UK is a South Wales success story. The company are enjoying success with the Scout Specialist Vehicle and are constantly investing in innovation, research and new ideas so that they develop the products of the future – products that can bring new growth opportunities and jobs to Wales.

Wales is an important hub of high skilled manufacturing and we will continue to back it as part of our drive to rebalance the economy.

Stephen Crabb and Anna Soubry also visited the company’s EDGE facility where they work closely with small businesses and academia by providing expertise and equipment to help develop innovative solutions for defence projects.

In private meetings with Tata Steel and Celsa Steel they discussed the current market conditions and challenges facing the sector.

Stephen Crabb said:

The steel industry is a crucial part of the manufacturing sector in South Wales and is very important to many local communities. However, we should be under no illusions about the significant challenges the industry faces.

We are doing everything we can to support all areas of manufacturing, including the steel industry. By supporting energy intensive industries and promoting the UK as a great partner for trade and investment we can ensure that our long term plan continues to strengthen the dynamic economy in South Wales.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

It was important that I came and spoke directly with steelmakers in Wales today to further understand the challenges they face and their plans for the future.

The steel industry is facing very tough global economic conditions, but my department is providing support where we can and we’ll continue to work closely with the sector.

Source Article from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-demonstrates-support-for-vital-south-wales-industries

Press release: Measures to ensure people receive fair pay announced

A package of measures to ensure hardworking people receive the pay they are entitled to is being announced today (1 September 2015).

The measures include:

  • doubling the penalties for non-payment of the National Minimum Wage and the new National Living Wage
  • increasing the enforcement budget
  • setting up a new team in HMRC to take forward criminal prosecutions for those who deliberately do not comply
  • ensuring that anyone found guilty will be considered for disqualification from being a company director for up to 15 years

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

There is no excuse for employers flouting minimum wage rules and these announcements will ensure those who do try and cheat staff out of pay will feel the full force of the law.

This one nation government is committed to making work pay and making sure hardworking people get the salary they are entitled to.

A new team of compliance officers in HMRC will investigate the most serious cases of employers not paying the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage when it is introduced in April 2016.

The team will have the power to use all available sanctions, including penalties, prosecutions and naming and shaming the most exploitative employers.

The enforcement budget for the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage will also be increased in 2016 to 2017. Future budgets will be agreed as part of the Spending Review process.

Employers who fail to pay staff at least the minimum wage they are legally entitled to will have to pay double what they do now. This reform is intended to increase compliance and make sure those who break the law face tough consequences.

The calculation of penalties on those who do not comply will rise from 100% of arrears to 200%. This will be halved if employers pay within 14 days. The overall maximum penalty of £20,000 per worker remains unchanged.

A new Director of Labour Market Enforcement and Exploitation will be created to oversee enforcement of the National Minimum Wage, the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (a non-departmental public body of the Home Office). The Director will set priorities for enforcement based on a single view of the intelligence about exploitation and non-compliance.

A consultation will be launched in the Autumn on the introduction of a new offence of aggravated breach of labour market legislation. The consultation will also propose giving the Gangmasters Licensing Authority additional investigatory powers and a wider remit to tackle serious labour exploitation more effectively.

The government has also announced today it will improve the guidance and support made available to firms on compliance and will work with payroll providers to be sure payroll software contains checks that staff are being paid what they are entitled to.

Notes to editors

1.HMRC currently enforces the National Minimum Wage on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

2.It currently conducts a programme of targeted enforcement, proactively focusing on high-risk sectors. It is currently engaged in activity in the social care, hairdressing and retail sectors.

3.In 2013, the department introduced a policy of naming non-compliant employers. Since then, 285 employers, who have owed over £788,000 in arrears, have been charged over £325,000 in penalties. HMRC puts forward the most serious cases of non-compliance to the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecution.

4.In 2014 to 2015, HMRC investigated 2,204 cases; found arrears in 735 cases for 26,318 workers totalling over £3.29 million; charged over £934,000 in penalties.

5.The current National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • adult rate (21 years old and over) – £6.50 per hour
  • 18 to 20-year olds – £5.13 per hour
  • 16 to 17-year olds – £3.79 per hour
  • apprentice rate – £2.73 per hour

The apprentice rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 years and those aged 19 years and over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage rate for their age.

6.Businesses or employees that have any questions about the National Minimum Wage can view guidance at www.acas.org.uk/nmw and ask questions at www.acas.org.uk/helplineonline.

Source Article from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measures-to-ensure-people-receive-fair-pay-announced

Press release: Financial red tape targeted in new review

  • government commits to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of anti-money laundering regime
  • new review will target the way regulation is implemented
  • businesses are encouraged to submit evidence of over-complicated and ineffective requirements

A review to improve the effectiveness of rules designed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing has been launched today (28 August 2015) as part of the government’s Cutting Red Tape review programme.

Businesses have expressed concerns that current guidance, rules and proof of identity requirements can be unnecessarily cumbersome and complicated. Inconsistency and confusion over how rules to stamp out money laundering are applied leads to a less effective regime, which disproportionately affects legitimate businesses.

The government wants these rules to protect the country and safeguard the UK’s world leading financial services industry, without putting disproportionate burdens on legitimate businesses or those companies that use their services.

This review is one of 6 chosen for the first wave of the government’s ambitious Cutting Red Tape programme, which will help towards saving businesses £10 billion over the next 5 years.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

We are committed to saving businesses a further £10 billion in red tape to help create more jobs for working people, boost productivity and keep our economy growing.

This new review is about making sure the rules we have to protect our strong financial services industry from abuse are not unintentionally holding back new and existing British business. I want firms to come forward and tell us where regulation is unclear or its enforcement ineffective.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said:

The UK is a global financial centre, and is home to some of the most successful international financial services firms in the world. But we are clear that in order to protect the integrity and stability of our world leading financial centre, we need an effective Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Finance regime.

That’s why we are leading from the front in implementing robust global standards to tackle money laundering, and that’s why we’ve launched a review today to improve the effectiveness of our Anti-Money Laundering regime.

Ensuring that supervision and enforcement are focused on the criminals who launder funds, whilst taking a proportionate approach for legitimate business, will build Britain’s strong reputation as a safe place to invest and do business.

The review will look at the implementation of legislation and activity carried out under The Money Laundering Regulations 2007, by national supervisors including the Financial Conduct Authority and HMRC. As well as identifying where more clarity is needed for businesses, it will look for evidence of where the activity of these regulators could be made more efficient and effective.

The review is seeking a wide range of evidence, including:

  • whether current guidance meets businesses needs
  • the effectiveness and proportionality of supervisors’ approach to supervision and enforcement
  • where and how supervision and enforcement is not proportionate to the risks posed
  • any examples of good practice that could help businesses meet their obligations and might be replicated elsewhere

The call for evidence will run for 8 weeks until 23 October 2015 and can be found on the Cutting Red Tape website. Five other sector reviews were launched on 16 July 2015 into: agriculture, care homes, energy, mineral extraction and waste.

Notes to editors:

  1. Cutting Red Tape reviews look into whether legislation and its implementation can be simplified or improved, addressing issues such as where different regulators are asking the same company the same questions, or where guidance or requirements are unclear, confusing or unnecessarily burdensome.
  2. The first wave of sector reviews focuses on problems that were identified as part of the Red Tape Challenge and Business Focus on Enforcement programmes in the last Parliament. This is one of the sectors which reports a high level of concern about red tape. This is why it was chosen as one of the early reviews.
  3. The CBI has said reducing the cost of regulatory compliance in financial services should be a top priority for government.
  4. More than 2 thirds of respondents to The ICC Global Trade and Finance Survey 2014 citied the anti-money laundering regime as a “significant impediment” to trade finance – stopping many small businesses from benefitting from global trade.
  5. Businesses can feed back their thoughts by:

Source Article from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/financial-red-tape-targeted-in-new-review

Press release: Business Secretary orders investigation into tipping

The Business Secretary has launched an investigation into abuse of tipping, as part of the government’s commitment to making sure everyone is paid fairly.

Delivering fairness for everyone is at the heart of this one nation government’s agenda. Recent media investigations into the practice of some major restaurant chains of withholding a proportion of tips left for staff to cover administrative costs have raised concerns at the very top.

Last week Business Secretary Sajid Javid said that this would be something that the government would take a serious look at and now he has ordered a formal call for evidence on the issue.

The Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

When a diner leaves a tip, they rightly expect it to go to staff. In full. I’m concerned about recent reports, suggesting some restaurants pocket tips for themselves. That’s just not right.

I’ve ordered an immediate investigation to look at the evidence and consider the views of employees, customers and the industry to see how we can deal with the abuse of tipping.

As a one nation government we want a fair deal on pay for working people and that includes taking action on tipping abuse.

The call for evidence will look at how restaurants treat tips left by customers and whether government intervention is necessary to strengthen the voluntary code of practice run by the industry.

The inquiry which will seek information and views from the hospitality industry and other key stakeholders and will consider whether there should be a cap on the proportion of tips restaurants can withhold from staff for administrative costs and, if so, what this level should be.

Research from 2009 found that one in five restaurants did not pass tips to their staff, yet the vast majority of customers said they wanted waiting staff to receive tips left for them. More than three quarters wanted to see the restaurant’s tipping policy clearly displayed.

While there is a voluntary code of practice which is overseen by industry body the British Hospitality Association, restaurants may currently choose to ignore its 4 principles of transparency and adopt various tipping practices.

Follow what’s happening on social media using #tipping.

Notes to editors

The call for evidence has been launched by BIS today (30 August 2015) and the Citizen Space e-consultation site. It will run until 10 November 2015 and those interested can contribute using any of the following options:

Source Article from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-secretary-orders-investigation-into-tipping