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October - need to know

October often brings exciting occasions and events including Halloween. However it also brings changes to the world of employment law.

As such employers should be aware of the following changes that are now in force:

1. Increase in the National Minimum Wage

Age                    Previous NMW        NMW from 1.10.15 
                              (per hour)                  (per hour)
21 and over                £6.50                         £6.70
18 – 20                       £5.13                         £5.30
16 – 17                       £3.79                         £3.87
Apprentices                £2.73                         £3.30
The Accommodation Offset has increased from £5.08 per day to £5.35 per day.

2. Tribunal power to make recommendations under the Equality Act 2010

In new claims under the Equality Act 2010, Tribunals will only be able to make recommendations relating to the claimant, rather than to make wider recommendations in order to reduce the adverse effect on any other person.

3. Health and Safety of self-employed individuals

Self-employed individuals will become exempt from Health and Safety laws if they do not have employees and whose work poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public.

4. Modern Slavery Statements

From a presently unspecified date in October 2015, any business conducting it’s, or part of its business, in the UK with an annual turnover of £36 million or more will have to publish an annual modern slavery statement. Government guidance on this is to follow, but statements must set out what steps the business has taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not present within the business itself or the supply chain, or alternatively confirm that it has taken no such steps.

5. Tribunal power to make recommendations under the Equality Act 2010

In new claims under the Equality Act 2010, Tribunals will only be able to make recommendations relating to the claimant, rather than to make wider recommendations in order to reduce the adverse effect on any other person.

6. Right of Sikhs to wear turbans expanded

The right of turban-wearing Sikhs to wear their turban rather than a safety helmet is to be expanded from construction sites to almost all workplaces (save for emergency response services and the armed forces).

If you wish to discuss any of the above further, please contact a member of the Harries HR, Training and Health &Safety Team on01206 865464.

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