Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fire at the Fleece in Addingham

Addingham Main Street has been cordoned off this morning as fire fighters put out a fire at the Fleece pub and restaurant that started in the early hours and the video of the fire was done at 4.30 am.

(Also see breaking news updates of arrests and photos at bottom of blog)

It appears that the roof has been destroyed above the lounge bar and restaurant area in this historic coaching house.

Not sure how it happened but it apparently started in the roof barn above the lounge bar and restaurant. The roof has been totally destroyed and I expect it will be closed for some time whilst building repairs are carried out and smoke damage treated.

It is hard enough running a pub or restaurant without having to close due to a fire.

Let’s hope the Fleece gets up and running again soon for the owners and of course it is a good gastro pub with a restaurant frequented by many locals and people that travel a long way for the excellent food and atmosphere.

There are a lot of full & part-time staff that will also be affected and I feel for them as they will be unable to work at the Fleece in the immediate future.

Update 23 September, 2015: A 33 year old local man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

Update 24 September, 2015: Leigh Meeks, 33, an Assistant Pub Manager, appeared before magistrates and was remanded in custody and will next appear before a judge at Bradford Crown Court on 8 October.
FleeceFire_23.09.15_6FleeceFire_23.09.15_4
FleeceFire_23.09.15_3

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Employee Accommodation – Accommodation Offset

National Minimum Wage and Accommodation Offset
(This post is based on rules as at 1 October, 2015)

Accommodation provided by an employer can be taken into account when calculating the minimum wage.

The offset rate for accommodation charges from 1 October, 2015 is £5.35 a day or £37.45 a week. If an employer charges more than this, the difference is taken off the worker’s pay which counts for the minimum wage.

This means the higher the accommodation charge, the lower a worker’s pay when calculating minimum wage.

If the accommodation charge is at or below the offset rate, it doesn’t have an effect on the worker’s pay.

If the accommodation is free, the offset rate is added to the worker’s pay.

No other kind of benefit (eg food, a car, childcare vouchers) counts towards the minimum wage.

Use the National Minimum Wage calculator to check if the minimum wage has been paid.

What counts as accommodation charges

Include these costs as part of your overall accommodation charges:

  • rent
  • charges for gas, electricity, furniture, etc
  • laundry

Working out if the employer provides the accommodation

The employer is providing accommodation if any of these apply:

  • the accommodation comes with the job
  • the employer (or a connected person or company) owns or rents the property the worker lives in, even if there’s no direct link between the job and the accommodation
  • the employer (or an owner, business partner, shareholder or director) gets a payment or benefit from the worker’s landlord or a member of the landlord’s family

Accommodation costs count towards the minimum wage even if the worker doesn’t have to use the accommodation to do the job. If the accommodation is optional, it only counts as a cost if the worker uses it.

Accommodation charges: effect on the minimum wage

This depends on how much an employer charges for accommodation.

It’s calculated by ‘pay period’, the intervals at which someone is being paid. This can be weekly, monthly or in irregular intervals like every 10 days.

If the accommodation is free, it still affects the minimum wage. There is an offset rate of £5.35 per day for this.

It doesn’t matter if the cost of the accommodation is taken from the worker’s wages beforehand or if the worker pays the cost after they get their wages.

Example 1: accommodation is free

John is 27 and gets £5.50 an hour. This is below minimum wage.

He works 30 hours a week.

He gets paid every 7 days (his pay period).

His employer provides free accommodation 7 days a week.

This brings John’s pay up to £6.75 an hour which is above the minimum wage rate of £6.70.

Calculation:

  1. £5.35 (offset rate used when accommodation is free) × 7 (days accommodation provided in pay period) = £37.45
  2. £37.45 + (£5.50 × 30 – the total pay in reference period) = £202.45
  3. £202.45 ÷ 30 (total hours in pay period) = £6.75

Example 2: accommodation is charged below the maximum rate

Lisa is 30 and gets £6.71 an hour. This is above minimum wage.

Her employer charges £3.75 per day for accommodation which is below the threshold of £5.35. No offset rate is applied.

The accommodation charge doesn’t affect Lisa’s pay of £6.71 an hour.

Example 3: accommodation is charged above the maximum rate

Sam is 35 and gets £6.75 an hour. This is above minimum wage.

He works 45 hours a week.

He gets paid every 3 weeks (his pay period).

His employer charges £7.00 per day for accommodation.

Sam lives in the accommodation full time which is 21 days for his pay period.

This brings Sam’s pay down to £6.49 an hour which is below the minimum wage.

Calculation:

  1. £7.00 (accommodation rate) × 21 (days accommodation provided in pay period) = £147.00
  2. (£6.75 × 135 – hourly rate × total hours in pay period) – £147.00 = £764.25 + (£5.35 × 21 – offset rate × days in pay period) = £876.60
  3. £876.60 ÷ 135 = £6.49

Please get advice from your accountant or payroll bureau before taking action based on the above content.

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Minimum Wage Going Up

The minimum wage goes up in two weeks on Thursday 1 October, 2015.

  • For adult rate for employees aged 21 years and over it increases by 20 pence from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour
  • The rate for 18 to 20 year old’s will increase by 17 pence from £5.13 to £5.30 per hour
  • The rate for 16 to 17 year old’s will increase by 8 pence from £3.79 to £3.87
  • The apprentice rate will increase by 57 pence from £2.73 to £3.30 per hour
  • The accommodation offset increases from the current £5.08 to £5.35

What is the Accommodation Offset?

This is the largest real-terms increase in the National Minimum Wage since 2007, and more than 1.4 million of Britain’s lowest-paid workers are set to benefit.

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Using Energy Efficiently

By following the Utility Warehouse tips below, you could save even more money by reducing the amount of energy you use.

Insulation tips

  • A well insulated building is cheaper to heat.
  • Draught-proofing windows and doors is very cost effective.
  • Effective loft insulation: the minimum level of loft insulation is 270mm, but the more you have the more energy you will save.
  • Cavity wall insulation can reduce the amount of heat lost through your walls.

Water heating tips

  • Insulate your hot water cylinder and water pipes. Lagging jackets need to be at least 80mm (three inches) thick to be effective.

Lighting tips

  • Ensure lights are switched off in empty rooms, and adjust curtains and blinds to let in as much light as possible.
  • Replace light bulbs with low energy light bulbs.

Heating tips

  • Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1 degree celsius could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.
  • Place foil behind radiators fitted onto outside walls.

This Advice is Courtesy of the Utility Warehouse discount club 

Ver: 05/15

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