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Employment Law Timeline – Forthcoming Changes

by Published on

Robert Gibson — Head of Employment Law

Rise in national minimum wage rate
1 October 2015

The national minimum wage will rise to £6.70 (was £6.50) per hour for workers aged 21 and over; the development rate for those aged 18 to 20 will go up to £5.30 (was £5.13); the young workers’ rate for those aged 16 to17 will rise to £3.87 (was £3.79); and the apprentice rate will go up to £3.30 (was £2.73).

Broad recommendations
1 October 2015

Employment tribunals will no longer be able to make “broad recommendations” to employers who lose discrimination claims brought under the Equality Act.

Modern slavery statement
October 2015

Commercial organisations with a total turnover exceeding £36 million per annum will be required to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement in each financial year. This must set out the steps they have taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of their supply chains or in any part of their business.

Other Forthcoming Legislation – Implementation dates not known

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

This covers a range of issues relating to employment law including equal pay (see below); whistleblowing (to do with requiring prescribed persons to report annually on the whistleblowing disclosures they receive); employment tribunals (to do with the problems caused by late notice and multiple postponements of hearings, and the failure of a number of respondents to pay the awards tribunals make against them); and the National Minimum Wage (to do with penalties for employers who have underpaid their workers).

Information on the gender pay gap

The government has just finished consulting employers for their views about implementing a law requiring them to publish information about the gender pay gap. The law, contained in section 78 of the Equality Act 2010, applies only to employers in the private and voluntary sectors with at least 250 employees. In order to find a workable approach to implementing section 78, the government asked employers for their views on the information that should be presented. The consultation closed on 6 September 2015.

Trade Union Bill 2015

This bill, currently making its way through Parliament, makes provisions about ballot thresholds for industrial action, information requirements relating to industrial action and the timing and duration of industrial action. It also deals with picketing, application of funds for political objects and facility time for union officials.

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