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Employment law changes

1 October 2013

Taking effect on 1 October 2013

1. Third party harassment

Formerly an employer would be liable if it failed to act when it knew that an employee was being harassed from the likes of its customers/suppliers etc. From tomorrow, the third party harassment provisions in section 40(2) to 40(4) of the Equality Act 2010 will be repealed. Regardless of this, its important to be aware that third party harassment may still result in liability, as it could provide grounds for a claim of discrimination or lead to resignation (and therefore a claim for constructive dismissal) and so inaction is not advisable.

2. National Minimum Wage increase

An increase applies to the following categories of worker:

  • for those workers aged 21 and over this has increased by 12p an hour to £6.31
  • the development rate for those workers aged between 18 and 20 has increase to £5.03
  • the young worker rate for non-apprentice workers aged under 18 but above school compulsory age has increased to £3.72
  • the apprentice rate has increased to £2.68.

The above rates will also now apply to agricultural workers who have traditionally been entitled to enhanced rates of pay.

3. Shareholders to vote on directors pay

Provisions relating to the disclosure and approval of directors remuneration for quoted companies will be introduced, resulting in:

  • disclosure of directors remuneration and loss of office payments
  • the power for shareholders to approve directors pay
  • a shareholder vote on the companys remuneration policy at least once every three years.

4. Reporting of work related incidents

The new Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 will come into force and make significant changes to simplify the existing reporting requirements relating to work related incidents and accidents. For example:

  • the classification of major injuries to workers is being replaced with a shorter list of specified injuries
  • the existing schedule detailing 47 types of industrial disease is being replaced with eight categories of reportable work-related illness
  • fewer types of dangerous occurrence will require reporting.

In addition, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 will be amended to remove the requirement for the Health and Safety Executive to approve first-aid training and qualifications.

For further information, or to discuss any of the above, contact Christina Swales on christina.swales@brownejacobson.com, 0115 908 4832.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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