Apprenticeship levy overhaul
Speaking at the Conservative party conference, chancellor Philip Hammond said that the government recognised concerns about the levy, and announced it would introduce reforms to give businesses greater flexibility and expand apprenticeships in science and other STEM subjects.
The new proposals will allow large employers to transfer up to 25% of their apprenticeship levy funds to businesses in their supply chain from April 2019. “We've set out a series of measures to allow firms more flexibility in how the levy is spent. But we know that we may need to do more to ensure that the levy supports the development of the skilled workforce our economy needs," said Hammond.
The number of apprentices fell significantly since the introduction of the levy, which requires businesses with an annual pay bill of £3 million or more to invest 0.5% of that in apprenticeship training.
Morrisons loses High Court challenge
Morrisons lost a challenge to a High Court ruling stating that it is liable for a data breach that saw thousands of its employees' details posted online by a disgruntled employee. The Court of Appeal upheld the original decision against the supermarket, issued in December 2017. Workers brought a claim against the company after employee Andrew Skelton stole the data, including salary and bank details, of nearly 100,000 staff.
Morrisons said it will appeal to the Supreme Court. If this fails those affected will be able to claim compensation from the supermarket for 'upset and distress'. The case is the first data leak class action in the UK. Legal experts expressed surprise over the ruling, and warned employers to be cautious about their use of data following the verdict.
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