Changes to Employment Law
Every year changes to Employment Law take place twice a year, typically in April and October and this year is no different.
On the 1st October 2014 the following changes will become effective to UK employment law:
1) The Reserve Forces (Payments to Employers and Partners) Regulations 2014.
Currently military reservists are paid directly by the Ministry of Defence when they are called into action and employers whose staff are called up can claim expenses in respect of additional costs incurred whilst replacing the reservist (to a maximum of £110 per day).
Under the new Regulations small and medium employers will also be able to receive up to £500 per month for each full month a reservist is absent from work (reduced pro rata for parts of a month, or part-time workers).
2) Removal of qualifying period for unfair dismissal for Military Reservists
The statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal (currently 2 years’) will not be required where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces.
For these purposes the Reserve Forces includes the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve or Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
The change will apply to employees whose employment terminates after 1 October 2014.
3) National Minimum Wage increase
£6.50 for workers 21 and over
£5.13 for workers 18-20 yrs
£3.79 for 16-17 yrs olds
£2.73 for apprentices under 19 or 19 and over who are in the first year of apprenticeship
4) Tribunals will be able to order equal pay audits in relation to equal pay claims made on or after the 1st October 2014.
Employment Tribunals will have the power to order pay audits where an employer is found guilty of gender discrimination in relation to contractual or non-contractual pay matters.
5) Time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments with a pregnant woman
Eligible employees and agency workers will be able to take unpaid time off work to accompany a pregnant woman to two antenatal appointments, and there will also be a protection from suffering a detriment or being dismissed in relation to time off to accompany a woman to antenatal appointments.