UK Employment Laws – From 1st October 2014
National Minimum Wage Increase
The national minimum wage rates are increasing and the following are applicable from 1 October (all per hour)
The rate for apprentices will increase by 5p from £2.68 to £2.73
The rate for workers aged 16-17 will increase by 7p from £3.72 to £3.79
The rate for workers aged 18-21 increases by 10p from £5.03 to £5.13
The rate for workers aged 21 and above increases by 19p from £6.31 to £6.50
Employment Tribunals to have power to order equal pay audits
Employment tribunals will now be able to order employers to carry out equal pay audits where they believe there has been an equal pay breach. The legislation also includes a requirement that employers have to publish the result of the audit on their website for at least 3 years (unless the employer can show that publishing these results would result in a breach of legal obligation)
Time off for workers to accompany a pregnant woman to anti-natal appointments
This new right applies to the husband, civil partner or partner (including same-sex partner), the father or parent of a pregnant woman’s child, and intended parents in a surrogacy situation who meet specified conditions. It is available to employees and qualifying agency workers.
This entitles them to unpaid leave for up to two appointments, with a maximum time limit of 6.50 hours per appointment. Employers can be brought to an Employment tribunal if they unreasonably refuse employees to take time off for this purpose.
The Government has issued guidance for employers on the new right. A similar right is to be introduced to adopters in 2015.