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New Legislation

Employment law changes from 1 October 2013

This article outlines the small number of employment law changes that come into effect next week on 1st October 2013.

Annual National Minimum Wage increases

The annual increases to the National Minimum Wage rates take effect from 1 October 2013.  The minimum hourly rates increase as follows:

  • standard rate (ages 21 and over) to £6.31
  • development rate (ages 18 – 20) to £5.03
  • young workers rate (compulsory school age to 18) to £3.72
  • apprentices to £2.68

The daily rate for the accommodation offset also increases to £4.91.

Third-party harassment provisions repealed

The provisions introduced by the Equality Act 2010 making employers liable for harassment of staff by a third party are repealed with effect from 1 October 2013.  We are sure that this is a welcome change but you people managers must remember that harassment by third parties may still give rise to issues.  For example, staff may raise a grievance about harassment by a third party or, in extreme cases, resign and bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

Prudent people managers will need to continue to review, prevent and confront the risks.

Reporting of Injuries regulations and first-aid requirements amended

Changes are being made to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (‘RIDDOR’).  The intention is to simplify reporting arrangements.  Some of the changes include a shorter list of reportable ‘specified injuries’, a reduction in the types of ‘dangerous occurrence’ that need to be reported and changes to the reporting requirements for fatal accidents and accidents to non-workers (members of the public).

Additionally, the Health and Safety Executive no longer has the power to approve first-aid training and qualifications.

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