Changes in Employment Law: 1 October 2014

There are a number of key changes coming into force on 1 October 2014. We have summarised these changes below.

National Minimum Wage Increase

On 1 October, the national minimum wage rates for all workers will increase. Those aged 21 and over will be entitled to a minimum wage of £6.50 per hour, 18-20 year olds £5.13 per hour, 16-17 year olds £3.79 per hour and apprentices £2.73 per hour.

Power to order Equal Pay Audits

From 1 October tribunals will have the power to order employers found to have been in breach of equal pay law under the Equality Act 2010 (those who have lost an equal pay claim brought on or after 1 October 2014) to carry out equal pay audits in certain circumstances. The employer will then be required to publish the relevant gender pay information and make it available on their website for at least three years.

Fathers’ right to time off for ante-natal appointments

From 1 October 2014, an expectant father, or the spouse, civil partner or partner (including a same sex partner) of a pregnant woman will be entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to ante-natal appointments. The entitlement is to unpaid leave for 1 or 2 appointments and the amount of time is capped at 6.5 hours per appointment. For further information about this, please see our earlier blog post on the subject:

Reserve Forces Reform

The Defence Reform Act 2014 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2014 will bring section 48 of the Defence Reform Act 2014 into force. This means that, from 1 October, the statutory two-year service requirement for bringing an unfair dismissal claim will no longer apply in cases where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces.  The Order also makes provision for the Secretary of State to make payments to small and medium-sized employers of reservists who are called out for service.

For more information on any of the above changes please contact the Employment Team.

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