Employment law changes from October 2013

Understanding employment law is vital to ensuring that your business creates a fair and safe working environment for employers and employees. Employers can sometimes become at risk to legal action from their employees due to misunderstanding where they stand in terms of employment law. There have been three main changes to these regulations you should know about.

A host of changes came into effect last month concerning employment law, here’s a complete rundown of what you need to know:

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

Section 40 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act was the provision under which an employer could be liable for the discriminatory harassment of an employee by a third party.

This was under the proviso that the third party had harassed the employee on at least two previous occasions with the employers awareness, with the employer then failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from taking place.

Some discrimination law and health and safety protection will still apply, protecting employees and so employers must nevertheless continue to deal appropriately with allegations of harassment or mistreatment by customers, clients, contractors or suppliers.

New National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2013 has increased from the 1 October 2013.

The adult NMW for people aged 21 and over increased from £6.19 to £6.31 per hour. The rate for 18-20 year olds has also increased from £4.98 to £5.03 per hour. Younger workers have also had their wages increases, with 16-17 year olds rate moving up from £3.68 to £3.72 per hour. Apprentice wages have also increased from £2.65 to £2.68 per hour.

The Courts and Tribunals Fee Remissions Order 2013

From 7 October 2013, wide-ranging reforms to the court fee remissions system are implemented, and these reforms will also apply to employment tribunal fees.

The Courts and Tribunals Fee Remissions Order 2013 introduces a standardised, single fee remissions system for courts and tribunals. This was comprised of two tests, the first assessing disposable capital and the second assessing gross monthly income.

Both of these tests have to be met to qualify for a fee remission. A fee remission is a full or partial waiver of the fees payable. Previously, the remission system did not assess disposable capital.

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