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1st October Changes to the Law

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1st October Changes to the Law

Every October brings new employment law changes, and 2015 is certainly no different. While the Government’s proposals to toughen the rules on industrial action have been headline news this summer, we should not overlook the legal changes that are just around the corner.

A handful of changes to employment law come into force today.

National Minimum Wage Increase

What is it?

The annual increase in the National Minimum Wage happens today. The standard adult rate goes from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour. The Development rate (for workers aged 18 to 20) goes from £5.13 to £5.30. The young workers rate rises from £3.79 to £3.87 and the apprenticeship rate goes from £2.73 to £3.30. The amount you can deduct from a worker’s pay to offset the provision of accommodation rises from £5.08 to £5.35 per day.

What do I need to do?

Ensure you are paying workers the correct amount, and that any information you give on pay is updated to reflect the changes.

Deregulation Act and Turbans

What is it?

The right for Sikhs to wear a turban instead of a safety helmet has been extended to nearly all workplaces. There are limited exemptions which apply to some roles in the military and emergency services.

What do I need to do?

Update policies on Health ans Safety, Personal Protective Equipment and Equalities. Ensure managers and foremen are aware of the changes.

Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

What is it?

Businesses with a global turnover of at least £36 million per year must prepare a statement on slavery and human trafficking each financial year. This statement must either detail the steps the organisation is taking to make sure its business and supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking, or state that it has taken no such measures. This statement must be available from the organisation’s webpage, or if the organisation does not have a website, on written request.

What do I need to do?

Small and medium sized businesses don’t need to do anything. Businesses with sufficient turnover must prepare the statement. There is no prescribed form or length for the statement, but bear in mind that the statement will be public facing.