Industrial Relations update February 2024

In the second of his blogs, Martin Meadlarklan, Employment Relations Manager at the JIB, discusses the recent wage rate changes, increases to the lodging allowance, the launch of the new JIB Resolution Procedure and the Network Infrastructure Agreement.

Wage Rates
Just a reminder that new wage rates for the electrical contracting industry were introduced from 1 January 2024. The full JIB Industrial Determination, setting out the changes, including revised wage rates for apprentices, can be accessed here. New wage rates are also included within the JIB Handbook 2024.

In setting wages under the JIB agreement, everything is jointly negotiated between ECA and Unite the Union. The JIB’s role is purely as a facilitator to bring the two parties together and administer this process e.g. arranging meetings, taking notes, and drafting the Agreement.

Unite presents a detailed document (developed with its shop stewards and branch officers) to the employer associations (the ECA and Select). Over a series of meetings, their wage negotiation teams reach an agreement.

Once the discussions are concluded, Unite ballots its members within the electrical sector, with the view to recommending the Agreement. When the Union votes in favour of accepting the deal, the JIB’s National Board formally approves it. This becomes part of the JIB Agreement, and the JIB publicises this to the industry.

Lodging Allowance
The JIB confirmed with HMRC the increased lodging allowance rates, as tax-free payments, effective from Monday 1 January 2024, which have increased by 10% to the following:

• Lodging allowance will increase to £49.27 per night.
• Annual holiday retention payments to increase to a maximum of £16.21 per night (£113.47 per week); and
• Weekend retention payment to increase to £49.27 per night.

HMRC has also confirmed the mileage allowance payable under the National Working Rules can continue to be paid tax-free. These special tax procedures are available to JIB member companies working under the JIB National Working Rule agreement.

Resolution Procedure
The new resolution procedure has now come into effect and the 2024 JIB Handbook, includes revisions to National Working Rules, 19, 20 and 21 along with a fully revised Section 3, setting out the “Guide to the Resolution Procedure.”

Further information about the availability of awareness training to supplement the introduction of the new JIB resolution procedure will be publicised shortly.

Network Infrastructure Agreement:
The Network Infrastructure Framework Agreement also came into effect on 1 January 2024, full details of the agreement, including how it operates, and relevant wage rates are provided within the 2024 JIB Handbook (see Sections 4, 5 and 8 of the Handbook, respectively for further information).

Do get in touch with me via if you have any questions about the new wage rates, the increased lodging allowance, the new JIB Resolution Procedure, or the Network Infrastructure Framework Agreement.