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October 2015 employment law changes

1/10/15 sees a number of employment law changes.

Increase in National Minimum Wage rates:

Adult - £6.70 per hour (was £6.50)

Development rate - £5.30 per hour (was £5.13)

Young worker - £3.87 per hour (was £3.79)

Apprentice - £3.30 per hour (was £2.73)

Reduction in power of Employment Tribunals to make recommendations in discrimination cases

Previously Tribunals were able to make recommendations as to steps the employer should take to reduce the adverse effect of discrimination not only on the claimant, but also on any other person in the business following a successful discrimination claim against them. The power to make recommendations is now reduced to refer only to recommendations in respect of the successful claimant.

Right for Sikhs to wear turbans instead of safety helmets

The right is extended from just construction sites to workplaces in general, although roles in the military and emergency services are exempt from this for health and safety reasons.

Slavery and Human Trafficking statements

Commercial organisations which supply goods and services with a global turnover (including any subsidiary undertakings) of £36 million per year are expected to be required to prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement each financial year. There is no prescribed format or length. This is expected to come into force this October.

It MUST contain a statement:

  • of the steps the organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains, and in any part of its own business; or
  • that the organisation has taken no such steps;
  • be signed by a director (if a company), member (if an LLP) or partner (if a partnership);
  • be published on the business website with a prominent link from the home page;
  • supplied to anyone who requests it within 30 days if the business has no website.

If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this article, we have specific employment law expertise in advising in this area.  For further advice, please contact Angela Gorton 

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