1 October: employment law changes come into force

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1 October 2011 sees the introduction of some key changes to employment law that organisations of all sizes need to be aware of. Read our guide to the changes and explore further information to help ensure that you are fully up to speed.

Agency Workers Regulations

From 1 October, agency workers will be entitled to be treated equally to employers’ directly recruited employees on basic employment conditions, such as pay and holidays, after they have worked in a role for 12 weeks, under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.

In addition, from the first day of their assignments, agency workers will be entitled to the same access to job vacancies and collective facilities as permanent members of staff, such as staff canteens, childcare facilities and transport services.

Read Personnel Today’s guide to the five things employers need to know about the Agency Workers Regulations.

For more information, see XpertHR’s policies and documents on temporary workers.

National minimum wage increase

On 1 October, the main rate of the national minimum wage rises from £5.93 to £6.08 per hour.

The youth rate increases from £4.92 to £4.98 per hour, the rate for workers aged 16 and 17 from £3.64 to £3.68 per hour, and the apprentice rate from £2.50 to £2.60 per hour.

For more information, see XpertHR’s FAQs on the national minimum wage.

XpertHR also has a video discussion on the national minimum wage.

Abolition of the default retirement age

Transitional arrangements for the removal of the default retirement age in the UK have been in force since 6 April, and since then employers have been prevented from issuing new notifications of retirement using the default retirement age.

This means that if an employer wishes to operate a compulsory retirement age, it will need to objectively justify it.

Retirements that were already in motion prior to this date can continue through to completion if the employee reaches the age of 65 (or the employer’s normal retirement age if that is higher) on or before 30 September. This means that no employee who turned 65 on or after 1 October can be retired under the default retirement age.

View Personnel Today’s detailed employer’s guide to the default retirement age, where you can find all the latest news and guidance on the subject.

A full timetable of the changes is also available on XpertHR.

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