New minimum wage rates: October 2013

Adult (21 and over)                                  £6.31 per hour                  (from £6.19)

18-20 years old                                        £5.03 per hour                  (from £4.98)

under 18                                                   £3.72 per hour                  (from £3.68)

Apprentices (18 or under or in 1st yr)       £2.68 per hour                  (from £2.65)

apprentices who have completed their first year will get the rate applicable to their age.

Some useful information concerning the changing face of employment law. If any of these come as a surprise, or a shock, contact ISR here for details of the support we can offer you.

Grievance and Discipline 

Your policies on handling grievances and disciplinary issues should be:

1. Written down and available to all employees

2. Compliant with the ACAS statutory Code of Practice on discipline and grievance

Unreasonable failure to comply with any provisions of the code will enable employment tribunals to increase awards by up to 25% in relevant cases. The Code was issued under section 199 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. It came into effect by order of the Secretary of State in April 2009 and replaces the Code issued in 2004. 

 Temporary Workers: October 2011

'Temps' or 'agency workers' are now entitled to the same basic terms and conditions as if they had been recruited directly, after 12 weeks in the same job with the same hirer.

These basic terms and conditions include:

  • basic pay, including holiday pay, overtime and bonuses linked to individual performance
  • duration of working time – for example not having to work more than 48 hours a week if those directly recruited are not
  • annual leave (where this is above the legal entitlement they may receive an additional payment to cover this, paid as part of the hourly rate or at the end of the assignment)
  • night work
  • rest breaks and rest periods

After 12 weeks in the same job they are entitled to paid time off for antenatal appointments.

Paternity Leave: April 2011

April 2011: The government has radically overhauled the legislation on paternity leave, increasing the amount of time a new father can take off from 2 weeks, to 26. It can be deferred to up to 20 weeks after the birth if the mother goes back to work before her maternity leave expires.

Default Retirement Age to be phased out: April 2011

Between April 6th 2011 and September 30th the same year, the DRA will be phased out. The government believes that as we are all living longer healthier lives, we should have the freedom to work on as long as we are able (or perhaps they just can't afford the pensions). Companies can still specify a retirement age, but if challenged in a tribunal, they will need a compelling argument as to why a fit and healthy 65 year old can't do the job they were doing as a fit and healthy 64 year old, or they could find themselves on the wrong end of an age discrimination claim.  

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