Important changes to current employment legislation
As we enter the final quarter of 2015 there are two important changes to current employment legislation which employers need to be aware of namely, changes to the National Minimum Wage and the Deregulation Act 2015.
National Minimum Wage
With effect from 1 October 2015 the applicable National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will be as follows:
Individuals aged 21 and over will be entitled to be paid £6.70 per hour;
Individuals aged 18-20 will be entitled to be paid £5.30 per hour;
Individuals aged 16-17 will be entitled to be paid £3.87; and
Any apprentice aged under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship will be entitled to be paid at least £3.30 per hour.
The Deregulation Act 2015
The Deregulation Act 2015 was introduced with the aims of reducing the burden which excessive regulation places on businesses and abolishing impractical legislation. The legislation seeks to amend existing legislation to achieve these aims and the latest two changes will come into force on 1 October.
The first amendment relates to the current exemption permitting Sikhs not wear safety helmets on construction sites. The new position will be that only turban-wearing Sikhs will be able not to wear a safety helmet at any workplace.
The second amendment relates to employment tribunals and will enhance their power to supply wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases. It is considered that recommendations will in turn benefit others, not just the claimant.
Looking ahead, there are already come changes which are scheduled for introduction in 2016.
The National Living Wage
By April 2016 it is expected that a compulsory National Living Wage will be introduced for all people aged 25 and above to paid £.7.20 per hour which they work.
If you employ many apprentices it may come as good news that from April 2016 employer National Insurance Contributions for any apprentices under the age of 25 will be abolished.
During 2016 it is anticipated that employers will have to publish information which shows if there are any pay differences between their male and female employees.
We will be sure to keep you updated on these changes nearer to their implementation dates, but if you do have any queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us.