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Employment Law changes from 1st October

Just as the rest of the world has gone ‘back to school’ so too have the employment law makers and changers. A number of important changes are taking place from 1stOctober.

  • National Minimum Wage Increase. Workers aged 21 and over will be entitled to £6.50 per hour. 18-20 year olds will be entitled to £5.13 per hour. 16-17 year olds will be entitled to £3.79 per hour. Apprentices will be entitled to £2.73 per hour.
  • The statutory two-year service requirement for bringing an unfair dismissal claim will no longer apply in cases where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces. The Secretary of State now, also, has a provision for making payments to small and medium-sized employers of reservists who are called out for service.
  • From 1 October, tribunals will have the power to order employers found to be in breach of equal pay law (under the Equality Act 2010 and after this date) to carry out equal pay audits. The audit will have to identify any differences in pay between men and women and the reasons for these, as well as any reasons for the breach. The employer will also have to set out how they plan to avoid breaches in the future. This information will have to be published via the employer’s website for at least three years.
  • An expectant father or the partner of a pregnant woman will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to two of her ante-natal appointments (up to a maximum of 6.5 hours per appointment). This includes the spouse or civil partner of the pregnant woman and a person (of either sex) in a long-term relationship with her. Employers are not entitled to ask for any evidence of the ante-natal appointments, although they are entitled to ask the employee for a declaration stating the details of the appointment, their qualification for this unpaid time off and that the purpose is to attend this appointment.

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