Changes in employment legislation
At Search, we believe it's important for our consultants to
remain up to date with the changes in employment legislation that
affect our industry. Here are a summary of legislative changes
National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2010 came
into force - 1 January 2011
Travel to a temporary workplace and related subsistence costs
can no longer form part of employees' pay for national minimum wage
New tribunal award limits came into force - 1 February
Increase in unfair dismissal award from £65,300 to £68,400.
Maximum amount of a week's pay for the purpose of calculating a
statutory redundancy payment and the basic and additional awards
for unfair dismissal increases from £380 to £400.
Additional paternity leave and pay came into force - 3 April
Employees who are fathers, or spouses or partners of mothers,
and employees who have been matched for adoption and are spouses or
partners of the person taking adoption leave, are entitled to take
additional paternity leave of up to 26 weeks in the first year of
their child's life or the first year after the child's placement
for adoption, and may be entitled to additional paternity pay.
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased - 3
The standard rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption
pay increases from £124.88 to £128.73.
Single equality duty introduced - 5 April 2011
Codes of practice on Equality Act 2010 came into force - 6
Positive action provisions of the Equality Act came into force
- 6 April 2011
Annual limit on economic migration to the UK came into force -
6 April 2011
Employers will be required to apply for a certificate of
sponsorship for a specific post if they wish to bring someone to
the UK. Tier 2 (general) is open only to migrants performing jobs
at graduate level and Tier 1 is restricted to all but
entrepreneurs, investors and the exceptionally talented. The
minimum salary for individuals who wish to enter the UK under the
intra-company transfer route for more than 12 months is £40,000,
but there is no limit on the number of migrants in this
Statutory sick pay increased - 6 April 2011
The standard rate of statutory sick pay increases from £79.15 to
£81.60 per week.
Default retirement age abolished - 6 April 2011
Employers are prohibited from issuing new notifications of
retirement using the default retirement age and the statutory
retirement procedure is abolished. Employers that wish to prescribe
a compulsory retirement age may do so only if it is a proportionate
means of achieving a legitimate aim. Employers may no longer
prohibit job applicants from applying for a job if they are aged 65
or over, or are within six months of the age of 65. However,
employers may limit access to group-risk insured benefits to people
aged under 65.
Increase in national insurance thresholds and contributions for
employers - 6 April 2011
Employers' national insurance contributions increase by 1%.
Equality Act 2010 (Guidance on the Definition of Disability)
Appointed Day Order 2011 comes into force - 1 May 2011
The order brings into force guidance, issued by the Office For
Disability Issues, on matters to be taken into account in
determining questions relating to the definition of disability.
Bribery offences introduced - 1 July 2011
The Act introduces a corporate offence of failure to prevent
bribery by persons working on behalf of a business. A business has
a defence if it has adequate procedures in place to prevent
bribery. The penalty is an unlimited fine. For individuals, it will
be a criminal offence to give, promise or offer a bribe and to
request, agree to receive or accept a bribe.
In addition to this, the following legislative changes will
start to affect our industry over the coming months:
Equal treatment for agency workers - 1 October 2011
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/93) give agency
workers the same basic employment conditions after 12 weeks in a
given job as if they had been employed directly by the
National minimum wage increases to £6.08 per hour - 1 October
The main rate of the national minimum wage rises from £5.93 to
£6.08 per hour. The development rate increases from £4.92 to £4.98
per hour, the rate for workers aged 16 to 17 from £3.64 to £3.68
per hour, and the apprentice rate from £2.50 to £2.60 per hour.
Parental leave increases from three to four months - 8 March
The minimum parental leave following the birth or adoption of a
child increases from three to four months. Member states have until
8 March 2012 to bring this into force.
Vetting and barring scheme introduced - To be confirmed
A scaled-back vetting and barring scheme for individuals working
with children and vulnerable adults is introduced.
Personal Accounts scheme starts up under Pensions Act 2008 -
Employers must enrol automatically all eligible employees not
already participating in a workplace pension scheme into the
employer's pension scheme or the new personal accounts scheme under
the National Employment Savings Trust pension scheme. Employers are
not required to automatically enrol individuals employed for under
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Changes in legislation
Legislation affecting the Human Resources community changes all
the time. It is vital that we stay updated with legislative
changes in order to best understand the challenges faced in our
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