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employment law changes taking effect on 1 October 2013

1 October 2013

Today brings with it two significant changes to the employment law arena:

  1. The abolition of third party harassment – an employer will no longer be liable if it fails to act when it knows that an employee is being harassed by a third party. However, companies should remain vigilant as liability may still arise in another form (e.g. if an employee resigns as a result of third party harassment and seeks to bring a constructive dismissal claim);
  2. An increase in the national minimum wage:
    • workers aged 21 and over – £6.31
    • workers between 18 and 20 – £5.03
    • non-apprentice workers under 18 but above school age – £3.72
    • apprentices – £2.68

The above rates will also apply to agricultural workers who join the industry today. Traditionally agricultural workers have been entitled to generous rates of pay based on the grade or category of work involved. Despite the cost savings, this change is likely to be a double edged sword. New starters will likely be disgruntled when they find out they are being paid less than their counterparts.

For more a more detailed breakdown of the changes that are taking place please read our legal bulletin.

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