In general, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills introduces legislative changes twice a year - April and October. The idea is to make it easier for employers (and employees) to keep abreast of the changes. The following are effective from October 2009.
National minimum wage - exclusion of tips 1 October 2009
Amendments to the national minimum wage regulations mean that employers can no longer count tips and service charges as part of the legal minimum wage.
National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2009 1 October 2009
Regulations coming into force on 1 October increase the main rate of the national minimum wage from £5.73 to £5.80 per hour. The development rate for workers aged between 18 and 21 goes up from £4.77 to £4.83 per hour, while the rate for workers who are aged 16 and 17 increases from £3.53 to £3.57 per hour.
The regulations also specify two new classes of people who do not qualify for the national minimum wage. These are workers participating in the European Community Erasmus and Comenius Programmes, part of the European Union’s action programme in the field of lifelong learning.
They also amend the “per day” value of the accommodation amount (which is applicable when an employer provides a worker with living accommodation) from £4.46 to £4.51.
Work and Families (Increase of Maximum Amount) Order 2009 1 October 2009
This Order introduces a one-off increase (from £350 to £380) to the statutory limit on weekly pay that is used by tribunals to calculate redundancy pay and the basic award for unfair dismissal. The change was announced in the budget earlier this year.
The increase would normally have taken effect in February 2010, but because it has been brought forward to October, there will be no further increases until February 2011.
Data Protection (Notification and Notification Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 1 October 2009
These regulations amend the fees that data controllers have to pay to register with the Information Commissioner to process personal data. A two-tiered structure is being introduced to replace the previous flat fee of £35. The fee for any data controller with fewer than 250 employees stays at £35, but large data controllers will have to pay £500.
Time off for trade union duties and activities 1 October 2009 A revised Code of Practice by Acas on time off for trade union duties and activities has been approved, after substantial consultation. The prime focus of the code is representatives of independent trade unions in workplaces where the union is recognised for collective bargaining purposes. This includes representative duties associated with collective redundancies and the transfer of undertakings. The code also provides advice concerning union learning representatives.
Supreme Court Rules 2009 1 October 2009
The Supreme Court Rules set out the practice and procedure that will apply in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom which replaces the House of Lords.
Centralised vetting system for people working with children and vulnerable adults 12 October 2009
A new, centralised vetting system will be introduced under the 2006 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act for people banned from working with children and vulnerable adults. The scheme will be introduced in stages from 12 October in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but will be fully enacted by November 2010. It will go live in Scotland in 2010, although no exact date has been set.
Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (No. 2) Regulations 2009 12 October 2009
The regulations amend the purposes for which an application for an enhanced criminal records certificate can be made under the Police Act 1997. They also prescribe the circumstances in which people making an application can get access to information about whether someone is suitable for working with children or vulnerable adults.
If you have any questions or comments on the new changes please feel free to drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Employment