Quality is the key to success in care home provision

Ensuring the provision of quality care for the UK’s ageing demographic is a significant priority for society.

We are living for longer but that does not mean that we will live our later lives independently of the support of others. Care homes, or support enabling people to live independently in their own homes, will become increasingly vital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the body charged with ensuring the highest possible standards among care home operators and care providers.

It sets standards that must be adhered to and encourages providers to strive for continuous improvement.

For that, we should all be grateful. But recent events have proven how difficult care provision is, with many large care companies experiencing operating difficulties due, in part, to the cost of providing what is an inherently expensive service if done properly.

Care homes exist within a complicated funding environment; residential care could be paid for by a local authority or by a private individual.

Whatever the funding model, the fact remains that care homes are generally privately-owned businesses with the same powers at play as any other enterprise.

However, the vulnerable nature of their customer base makes them unlike any other business.

The UK is blessed with many exemplary care homes, but the latest research from the CQC  shows room for improvement.

“It appears to be increasingly difficult for some providers to deliver the safe, high-quality and compassionate care people deserve and have every right to expect,” Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC, told the Daily Telegraph.

But there are examples of “good” and “outstanding” care homes across Lancashire and the North West, a number of them operated by Pierce clients, including Springhill Care Home in Accrington, and Altham Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington.

Supporting companies operating in the care sector requires special expertise and Pierce is proud of its experience in that regard, supporting care providers in seeking development capital, merger and acquisition advice or succession planning.

The values of those care providers who will support society in future reflect our own.

Providing a quality service now and in future will be key in satisfying both the business needs of a care home and the exacting standards set by the CQC, loved ones and local authorities alike.

Providing care for our elderly is perhaps one of the most important investments any of us will make. We would be only too happy to share the wealth of our experience with people already operating within the sector, or considering it as a business opportunity.

Peoples Pension Auto Enrolment News

Peoples Pension Auto Enrolment News

From:  Lisa Kennery

The People’s Pension is launching a new full support automatic enrolment pension solution for small businesses on 23 November. The solution has been developed based on extensive research with small businesses and their business advisers and financial advisers.

What they’re offering

Peoples Pension Logo

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive Officer at B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, said:

“We’ll be charging a one off set up charge only, and will not be charging employers for ongoing support.

The People’s Pension launches the ‘complete package’ for small employers


November 5, 2015 News

The People’s Pension has announced today that it will go live with an enhanced service and support package for new and existing customers on Monday 23 November.

  • Option to ‘Simply comply’ with a fast track route to legal compliance
  • Or to ‘Simply tailor’, putting employers and advisers in control for a bespoke experience
  • Enhanced payroll support and extended opening hours with dedicated employer and adviser teams
  • We’ll even tell the regulator employers have complied

It will offer all new employers joining the scheme the complete package to meet their auto-enrolment (AE) needs – and has been specifically designed to support small employers as they start to stage from January 2016.

New employers will be able to choose between two routes. The first, ‘Simply comply’, will guide them through a fast track process designed to help them comply as quickly and easily as possible. The second, ‘Simply tailor’, offers employers a more bespoke experience to cater for the individual needs of their workforce.

Both routes will offer a number of different payroll options, both manual and automatic. There’ll be a range of online tools and assessment options available – and The People’s Pension will even tell The Pensions Regulator that an employer has complied. Customer service hours are set to be extended too, to 8am-10pm from January 2016, to provide an extra helping hand at sign up.

The enhancements to the scheme’s award winning service and support follow extensive research with small employers and their advisers on what they need from a workplace pension provider. They also build on not-for-profit provider B&CE’s experience of providing pensions to small construction employers for more than three decades.

Patrick Heath-Lay, Chief Executive Officer at B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, said:

“Workplace pensions can be alien to people outside the pensions industry. Our research and 30 years of experience working with small employers tells us that they want simple solutions and a great deal of support in meeting their auto-enrolment duties. Our doors will remain open to everyone who wants to come to us, regardless of their size and their sector.

“That’s why we’ve developed a simple, hassle free and high support solution for busy people who just want to run their business, not get bogged down in pensions. Simplicity is the key. We’re here to help small employers navigate the auto-enrolment galaxy.”

Employers with a staging date of January 2016 onwards who sign up with The People’s Pension from Monday 23 November will pay a one off set up charge of £500 + VAT for all the support they’ll need for the life of the scheme. Employers with a 2015 staging date who sign up from Friday 1 January onwards will also be charged.

There will be no ongoing charges for employers, and the low annual management charge of 0.5% for members will remain. Employers signing up through an intermediary will pay a reduced charge of £300 + VAT.

Heath-Lay continued:

“We’ll be charging a one off set up charge only, and will not be charging employers for ongoing support.

“Our focus is on putting savers first. We don’t believe in frontloading member charges to cover the cost of supporting employers.

“That’s why we are introducing this charge. We want to make sure that we can keep delivering award-winning customer service and support to new and existing customers, and keep our member charges low.

“We know that small employers feel daunted by auto-enrolment. For the one off set up charge, we will make complying with the law easy, straight-forward, and stress free for small employers.”


Fit for Work

Fit for Work

How employers can prepare for Fit for Work

News compiled from http://fitforwork.org/

By: Lisa Kennery

GPs and employers throughout England and Wales can now refer their employed patients and employees who have been, or are likely to be, off sick from work for four weeks or more for a voluntary occupational health assessment.

Fit for Work is now available for employers up and down the country, meaning that they can refer staff who have been off work sick for four weeks or more to the service. The service is aimed at supporting workers in SMEs to plug the gap in occupational health advice and support provision – as around 70% of employees in England and Wales don’t have access to occupational health and advice.

Fit for Work is predicted to cut sick pay costs to business by £80 million, to £165 million a year. This means that it is something businesses can’t afford to miss out on taking advantage of. Those wanting to use the service often find it good practice to include Fit for Work in their in-house HR policy, and build it into their procedures for dealing with sickness absence.

Employers wanting further advice about referring employees on long-term sickness absence can call the Fit for Work advice line on 0800 032 6235 to speak to a dedicated advisor.

Employees who consent to being referred to Fit for Work will be invited for a telephone assessment by a Fit for Work occupational health professional. This assessment aims to identify all potential obstacles preventing employees from returning to work (including health, work and personal factors). Where appropriate, a Return to Work Plan will be agreed between the advisor and employee.

While aiming to plug the gap in occupational health advice and support for SMEs, Fit for Work can also work alongside existing occupational health provision as it focuses on many different aspects preventing an employee’s return to work, including social and financial factors.

Desk and Lamp

The occupational health professional will identify obstacles preventing the employee from returning to work. A Return to Work Plan will be agreed providing recommendations tailored to the employee’s needs, which can replace the need for a fit note.

How to prepare for making Fit for Work referrals

  • Clarify what existing support you already have in place for employees on long-term sick leave and update your HR policy to accept the Fit for Work Return to Work Plans. (For help with updating your absence and HR policies, see the CIPD guidelines.)
  • Invite eligible employees in for a discussion about Fit for Work, and refer employees (with their consent) using the employer referral form.
  • Spread the word about Fit for Work within your organisation or on your website using some of our online resources (see the employer toolkit for a collection of useful materials available for your use).

Press Releases

New return-to-work service opens to employers today

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Each year around 865,000 employee absences in England and Wales last for four weeks or more1. 74% of employers in England and Wales feel that if they had more external…

New return to work service goes live to help GPs, employees and employers across England

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A new support service, designed to help working people who face long-term sickness absence return to work more quickly, is now available across the whole of England. The free and…

Employer Roadshow

The scheme is set to affect employers up and down the country, with businesses now beginning to refer their employees to Fit for Work. The events, to be held across England and Wales, will be looking at what these changes mean from a policy and business perspective.

Events will be taking place in:

If you are interested in attending, please email your name and the event you wish to attend to fitforwork1@munroforster.com (for England) or eoghanmortell@workingwordpr.com (for Wales).

Suitable for:

Business Membership Organisations, Business Member Organisations, Employment Relations Specialists, Employee Representatives, MDs / CEOs, Trade Unions, Health and Wellbeing Boards, Occupational Health Specialists


Changes to National Insurance

Changes to National Insurance


Fact Sheet


from:    Lisa Kennery

The Government has recently introduced a number of changes to national insurance and further measures affecting both employers and individuals are in the pipeline.


This factsheet provides an overview of some key changes, as well as offering advice on a range of strategies to help minimise your national insurance bill.

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The Employment Allowance was introduced in April 2014, with the aim of reducing the employer national insurance liability for businesses and charities, and encouraging businesses to expand and take on new staff.


While a small number of exclusions apply, most businesses, charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to claim an annual reduction of up to £2,000 in their employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bill.


There are rules to limit the Employment Allowance to a total of £2,000 where there are ‘connected’ employers. For example, two companies are connected with each other if one company controls the other company.


The employer’s payment of PAYE and NICs is reduced each month to the extent it includes an employer Class 1 NIC liability until the £2,000 limit has been reached.


The allowance can be claimed via payroll software or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Basic PAYE Tools.


Do contact us if you believe you are entitled to the allowance as it is possible to claim up to four years after the end of the tax year in which the allowance applies.


There are some exceptions for employer Class 1 liabilities which can be covered by the Employment Allowance including liabilities arising from:


  • a person who is employed (wholly or partly) for purposes connected with the employer’s personal, family or household affairs
  • the carrying out of functions either wholly or mainly of a public nature (unless charitable status applies), for example NHS services and General Practitioner services
  • employer contributions deemed to arise under IR35 for personal service companies.

With effect from 6 April 2015 Employment Allowance has been extended to those employing care and support workers.


If you need guidance on this area please do get in touch so that we can offer specific advice.


From April 2016 the Employment Allowance will increase to £3,000.


However, companies where the director is the sole employee will no longer be able to claim this allowance.


Who will benefit


The Government announced the increase in the Employment Allowance in recognition of the fact that the new National Living Wage (NLW) may increase costs for some businesses.


Up to 90,000 employers are expected to see their employer NICs liability reduced to zero, allowing businesses to employ up to four full time workers on the new NLW from next year, without paying any NICs.




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From 6 April 2015 employer NICs for those under the age of 21 are reduced from the normal rate of 13.8% to 0%. For the 0% rate to apply the employee will need to be under 21 when the earnings are paid.


This exemption will not apply to earnings above the Upper Secondary Threshold (UST) in a pay period.


The UST is a new term for this new NIC exemption. It is set at the same amount as the Upper Earnings Limit (UEL), which is the amount at which employee NICs fall from 12% to 2%.


The weekly UST is £815 for 2015/16 which is equivalent to £42,385 per annum.

Employers will be liable to 13.8% NICs beyond this limit.


In the Second Budget it was confirmed that the UEL will increase in line with the income tax higher rate threshold. This will increase to £43,000 in 2016/17 and to £43,600 in 2017/18.


The new rules apply to both existing employees and employers taking on new staff.


They do not affect an individual’s entitlement to the State Pension or contributions based benefits such as Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity Pay. The employee NICs due are unaffected and remain payable by the employee.




The Government will abolish employer NICs up to the UST for apprentices aged under 25 with the stated aim of encouraging the employment of younger workers and boosting the economy by bridging the skills gap.


From April 2016, employers who engage apprentices under the age of 25 will be able to claim exemption from employers’ NICs on the cost of the apprentice’s salary up to the UST.


Detailed regulations will be issued on the NICs for apprentices including the definition of an apprentice.


Who will benefit


The new measure is expected to save employers an estimated £105 million in employers’ NICs during its first year of operation.




With effect from 6 April 2016, a new single-tier State Pension will replace the existing two-part system plus various means-tested benefits, for those reaching State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2016.


The Government is providing a one-off opportunity to allow existing pensioners and those reaching State Pension Age before 6 April 2016 to top up their additional State Pension, by up to £25 per week by paying Class 3A voluntary NICs.


How it works

Each unit of Class 3A contributions will result in £1 per week of additional State Pension. The price of Class 3A is based on an actuarially fair rate with prices varying between £127 and £934 per unit depending on the purchaser’s age.


Those wishing to take advantage of the Class 3A contribution must meet the following conditions:


  • They must be entitled to a UK State Pension
  • They must reach State Pension Age before 6 April 2016.

The facility will apply from 12 October 2015 to 5 April 2017, for eligible individuals.


The new Class 3A contribution will not replace the existing Class 3, and those taking up the new Class 3A will be advised to consider making Class 3 contributions where appropriate.


Applications and payments relating to Class 3A contributions will be dealt with by HMRC.


Who will benefit


The transitional measures are likely to be of particular benefit to those with low earnings, particularly women and carers, who tend to have low Additional State Pension entitlement, and also the self-employed who are excluded from the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and the State Second Pension.


Please note that receiving extra Additional State Pension could impact on certain state benefits. It is important to consider a number of areas when deciding whether to make Class 3A contributions. Please contact us for further advice.




Abolishing Class 2 and reforming Class 4 NICs


The Coalition Government previously introduced significant changes to Class 2 NICs, resulting in the introduction in April 2015 of new provisions for the collection and payment of Class 2 NICs via self-assessment, rather than direct debit generally on a monthly or six monthly basis.


From 6 April 2015 liability to pay Class 2 NIC will arise at the end of each year. The amount of Class 2 NICs due will still be calculated based on the number of weeks of self-employment in the year, but will be determined when the individual completes their self-assessment return.


It will therefore be paid alongside their income tax and Class 4 NICs. For those who wish to spread the cost of their Class 2 NICs, HMRC will retain a facility for them to make regular payments throughout the year.


Those with profits below the stated threshold no longer have to apply in advance for an exception from paying Class 2 NICs. Instead they will have the option to pay Class 2 NICs voluntarily at the end of the year so that they may protect their benefit rights.


The Government has announced that Class 2 NICs will be abolished in this Parliament and it will reform Class 4 NICs to include a contributory benefit test.




We can work with you on a range of ideas for saving employer and/or employee NICs.


Dividends instead of salary/bonus


For limited companies you should consider paying dividends rather than a salary/bonus.


Where directors are in receipt of a salary/bonus from a company, the NIC cost may be such that part of the payment could be more cost effectively made as a dividend. There are special rules for some companies providing personal services.


The decision on whether to pay a dividend is complex because doing so may influence the value of the company’s shares and therefore increase the liability to capital gains tax and inheritance tax. There is also a maximum amount that may be paid, based on the company’s results.


Further strategies you may also want to consider:


  • Increasing the amount the employer contracts to contribute to company pension schemes.
  • Share incentive plans (shares bought out of pre-tax and pre-NIC income – this is a specialist area. Please get in touch for advice).
  • Salary sacrifice arrangements in respect of tax-free benefits in kind, such as the provision of childcare.


For further advice on national insurance contributions, please contact us. We have expertise in all areas of running a business and would be delighted to assist you




National Minimum Wage News

New National Minimum Wage Campaign

By: Lisa Kennery

 National Minimum Wage

HMRC have released a webinar to help employers ensure you are paying at least the national minimum wage. Watch their pre-recorded webinar at https://twitter.com/HMRCbusiness/status/580678155150757888

Warning to all Employers

Supported by The Hair and Beauty Industry

To improve compliance HMRC has launched a National Minimum Wage campaign to drive voluntary behavioural change.

The campaign is an opportunity for employers to check they are paying their employees correctly and ensure any outstanding arrears are paid back to employees.

If employers tell HMRC about National Minimum Wage arrears right away, they won’t:

  • have to pay a penalty (100% of amount owed, up to a maximum of £20,000 per employee)
  • be named publicly on the list of employers not paying National Minimum Wage.

Go to HMRC’s National Minimum Wage campaign for full details.

Supported by the National Hairdressers Federation

As part of this ‘first of its kind’ campaign, HMRC and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), supported by the National Hairdressers’ Federation and the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority HABIA , will work with hair and beauty businesses to help them understand their pay obligations to their employees.

HMRC will provide employers with tailored tools and guidance to check if they are paying the correct amount, and put it right where they are not. Employers who take this opportunity to self-correct will not have to pay penalties, nor will they be ‘named and shamed’. If employers choose not to comply with their NMW obligations, HMRC will take action to ensure that employees are paid what they are owed.

All Employers Who Fail to Pay Minimum Wage

HMRC action to tackle employers who fail to pay the minimum wage identified £3.2 million in NMW arrears involving over 26,000 workers across a range of sectors in 2014/15 alone. The Government is committed to ensuring every employee receives at least the NMW, and HMRC is committed to helping workers to recover any money owed to them.

BIS analysis shows that 42% of businesses in the Hair and Beauty sector do not pay level 2 and level 3 apprentices the correct minimum wage – the highest underpayment rate of any sector. Those paying under the minimum wage now have a chance to put things right. If they fail to do so it could result in their business being publicly ‘named and shamed’ and facing a fine of up to £20,000 per employee.

Named and Shamed

75 more employers have been named and shamed for failing to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage.

Big brands have been named and shamed today for failing to pay the National Minimum Wage – find out why

Between them, the named companies owed workers over £153,000 in arrears, and span sectors including hairdressing, fashion, publishing, hospitality, health and fitness, automotive, social care, and retail.

This brings the total number of companies named and shamed under the scheme, which was introduced in October 2013, to 285 employers, with total arrears of over £788,000 and total penalties of over £325,000.

Business Minister Nick Boles said:

“As a one nation government on the side of working people we are determined that everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage receives it. When the new National Living Wage is introduced next April (2016) we will enforce robustly. This means that the hard-working people of the UK will get the pay rise they deserve.”

Hair and Beauty

There are nearly 55,000 businesses and 250,000 employees in the hair and beauty sector in the UK. The typical hourly rate of pay is £7.11, compared with £11.61 in other sectors. Employees can report under-payment of the NMW at Pay and work rights.

Hair and beauty businesses are being asked to come forward as part of the National Minimum Wage Campaign by:

  • Telling HMRC they want to take part in the campaign
  • Disclosing details of arrears now paid to their workers and confirming that wages worth at least the NMW are now paid to all workers.

For full details including ‘Common mistakes’ and ‘What to do if you haven’t been paying National Minimum Wage’ visit National Minimum Wage campaign.

CIPP commentIt was announced in Autumn Statement 2014 that funding for NMW enforcement activity in 2015-16 would be increased by £3 million. So whilst these high level announcements at the time are not directly operational, they do impact our workload in the long term. The Summer Budget 2015 announced that an additional £1 million would be invested to expand HMRCs data analytics and enforcement teams. This new campaign is the first step in expanding HMRCs compliance activities using ‘smart data’ – the new term we shall no doubt become very familiar with.The CIPP are supportive of this initiative. Samantha Mann, Senior Policy & Research Officer says “We believe that when you are responsible for paying employees you should ensure that they are paid ‘on time and accurately’. Additionally, in ensuring that employees receive the pay that they are legally entitled to, employers in business are enabled to compete on a more level playing field.”


Current Vacancies – Audit & Accounts Senior

Current Vacancies

Audit & Accounts Senior

Young Accountants shutterstock_35480545

Candidates will be:

ACA or ACCA Fully Qualified

We seek an Audit & Accounts Senior to join our expanding team.

We offer a generous salary package.

We are an award winning practice, based in a modern, town centre office facility which is easily accessible from the motorway network. You will be joining a high performing, committed team of highly experienced business and accountancy practitioners and the successful candidate will be committed to maintaining and developing their impeccable reputation.

The role will include delivering audits, accounts, and tax compliance as well as special projects for clients across a wide range of sectors.

As an Audit & Accounts Senior your role will include;

  • Working between Audit and Accounts
  • Working with Managers, Senior Managers and Directors as the need arises
  • Producing detailed and accurate working papers
  • Conducting and/or participating in special investigations as required
  • Leading and taking part in audits
  • Assisting with general accounts and undertaking audit assignments
  • Providing accounting services in support of audit and other clients, including the preparation of consolidated and more complex statutory accounts

The ideal Audit & Accounts Senior must;

  • Be ACA or ACCA qualified
  • Have experience in a similar role
  • Have Advanced Excel skills and a good working knowledge of various software packages including computerised audit software
  • Possess the ability to communicate effectively with clients

We can offer;

  • A generous commercial salary package
  • Long-term career opportunities
  • An excellent local reputation
  • Free parking

This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced Audit & Accounts Senior to take up a permanent role within our thriving East Lancashire business. If you’re ambitious, forward thinking and looking for a new challenge then please apply for this role today.


Please send your CV to m.duggan@pierce.co.uk


Universal Credit – know the rules

Universal Credit – a word for warning for anyone who runs an Owner Managed Business

By: Anne Wilson

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Anyone who runs an Owner Managed Business (OMB) and is currently claiming either child tax credits or working tax credits, will have to master the complexities of claims to universal credit which will replace various welfare benefits for claimants who are employed, self-employed or unemployed. Universal credit will start for some claimants in 2016 but will be rolled out to all claimants by 2019.  Claimants may be able to elect to continue with tax credits until 2019 if that is more beneficial.

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A guide to Universal Credit for the self-employed can be found at

Money Advice Service logo-sprite-en-a536f1d0589a3f746d3820f004ac9b43


The recent announcement about the new digital tax account and the ability for the self-employed to link their accounts package into the digital tax account is obviously intended to dovetail with the rules concerning universal credit and the self-employed.  However this assumes that the self-employed claimant can afford both online access and accounts software, which seems unlikely if their income is so low that they are able to claim universal credit.

The purpose of the article is not to take a claimant through the various stages of a claim but to highlight some of the major differences compared with the current system.  Given the complexity and the need to make monthly claims it would not be surprising if the number of self–employed claimants reduces dramatically despite assertions that the impact of universal credit will be neutral.


Current rules

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  • Claims to benefit are made annually and follow the tax year and so it is only necessary for the claimant to transfer the details from their tax return to their benefit claim.
  • The claimant may carry forward surplus tax losses to the following benefit claim period.
  • The net taxable result is the same figure as used in the benefit claim.
  • Claimants trading through a company are assessed to benefit entitlement on the income they draw from the company as salary and dividend and not on the company’s trading results.
  • Capital is not means tested.


Universal credit rules

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  • Claimed by reference to a monthly assessment period on a cash-in cash-out basis.
  • No relief is given for business expenditure that is incurred “unreasonably” this is not defined in legislation!
  • Relief for interest on a business loan is restricted to £41 in the assessment period.
  • There is no deduction for expenditure on the purchase of a car but a fixed deduction is allowed for mileage.
  • No relief is given for expenditure on non-depreciating assets e.g. property.
  • Relief for carry forward of business losses is limited.
  • Income in excess of the threshold for a claim will be carried forward to later period to restrict future claims to benefit.
  • A minimum level of income will be assumed for claimants based on the national minimum wage and an assumed number of hours worked.
  • A claimant trading through a company in a similar way to a sole trader or partner will treated as if the income of the company is their personal income (this will prevent shareholders leaving cash in the company to increase their benefit entitlement).


Although 2019 seems a long way off some claimants may be affected as early as 2016 so planning ahead is advisable and keep a look for further guidance as matters develop.




Huge employment site proposed for Whitebirk

Huge employment site proposed for Whitebirk

from: David Sharpe

I am delighted to hear the news, announced by Insider Media of a proposed development of more than 1m square feet of landmark scheme which will include manufacturing, industrial and warehouse space, offices, a hotel, food outlets and leisure facilities, all sited at Whitebirk.

A public exhibition will take place at the Red Lion Public House on Whitebirk Road in Blackburn on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 between midday and 8pm.


By Richard Frost, Senior Digital Staff Writer

Article by
Richard Frost

T: 0844 980 0192
E: Richard.Frost@newsco.com

Plans have been unveiled to create a major new employment site at Whitebirk, a suburb in the east of Blackburn, spanning more than 1 million sq ft.

The landmark scheme will include manufacturing, industrial and warehouse space, offices, a hotel, food outlets and leisure facilities.

The 89-acre Whitebirk site at Blackburn Road in Knuzen, which is located next to junction 6 of the M65, has been designated as a strategic regional employment site. Commercial property investor Praxis wants to establish a mixed-use development comprising 1.05 million sq ft of buildings.

In total, there would be 990,280 sq ft of advanced manufacturing, industrial and warehousing development across four development plots along with 49,514 sq ft of offices. There would also be a hotel and supporting food and leisure facilities.

The principle road access would be from the A678 Burnley Road roundabout with a secondary access from the A679 Blackburn Road.

Praxis’ proposals will be outlined in full during a drop-in public exhibition.

Gabriel McLaughlin, director and head of asset management at Praxis, said: “Against the backdrop of a tough economic environment, we are developing plans for a mixed-employment development site that will act as a major boost to the local economy with the creation of up to 2,000 jobs of significant benefit to the local community.

“We are keen to ensure that the local community has the opportunity to comment on the scheme to help develop something we’re all proud of and that fulfil our objectives of attracting inward investment and creating a range of jobs for the area.”

The public exhibition will take place at the Red Lion Public House on Whitebirk Road in Blackburn on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 between midday and 8pm.

Article by
Richard Frost

T: 0844 980 0192
E: Richard.Frost@newsco.com

Employment News from ACAS including National Minimum Wage

20130918 ACAS toplogo

ACAS have advised the following:

This October there will be changes made to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), Third Party Harassment and the Agricultural and Horticultural NMW.

20130918 Wage Packet

The National Minimum wage continues its annual rise in October. From the 1st October the new rates will be:

• 21-over rises from £6.19 to £6.31

• 18-20 rises from £4.98 to £5.03

• 16-17 rises from £3.68 to £3.72

• Apprentice Rate (under 19 or individuals in the first year of apprenticeship) rises from £2.65 to £2.68

• Accommodation offset increases from £4.82 to £4.91 per day


Third Party Harassment

20130918 Harassment

Third Party Harassment will be removed from the Equality Act. The reason behind the removal is Government believe there is no perceived need for this sort of safeguard, and it is unfair to place this risk on an employer.

Just to clarify Third Party Harassment is the provision which makes an employer liable for instances of harassment to employees by a ‘third party’. For example if a customer regularly came into a local post office and continually verbally abused staff the employer would be at risk of a tribunal claim under Third Part Harassment.

However an employer would still be expected to deal with this potentially difficult situation as a duty of care to thier employees. This is expected to come in from 1st October 2013.

National Minimum Wage in the Agricultural and Horticultural Sectors

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NMW in the agricultural and horticultural sectors: Any worker who enters into employment between now and 1st October 2013, must still receive the Agricultural Minimum Wage for their grade, and other benefits set out in the Order, in relation to overtime, holidays and dog allowance. The workers terms and conditions should also remain the same, unless there is mutual agreement to change. Any worker who enters into employment after 30th September 2013, will be entitled to be paid at least the NMW rate and to other minimum terms and conditions in accordance with employment legislation.



Pierce is a trading name of Pierce Group Ltd (09047081) and its associated companies. Pierce Group Ltd is the parent company of Pierce C.A. Ltd (04360541), Pierce Forensic Ltd (05969229) and Pierce Corporate Finance Ltd (05969217). All companies are registered in England & Wales and the registered office, list of all directors and VAT registration numbers are held at: Mentor House, Ainsworth Street, Blackburn, Lancashire BB1 6AY. Pierce C.A. Ltd is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales - Chartered Accountants' Hall, PO Box 433, London EC2P 2BJ, Tel 020 7920 8100.