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Date added: 09 September 2010

New Employment Legislation 

Minimum wage, equality rights, retirement age and maternity leave all set to change, writes Peter Jones of the HR Dept
 
Peter Jones:
HR Dept. Swindon
It’s that time of year again. Time for employers and small business owners alike to prick up their ears and take note of the important changes to employment legislation.
 
After all, the ever changing world of employment law can be a minefield for any business owner.
 
Minimum wage
 
National Minimum Wage rates are to rise from October 2010, with the minimum rate for workers aged 21 and over rising to £5.93 an hour.
 
Apprentiship wage 
 
And for the first time, a minimum wage rate for apprentices has been set. The government has accepted a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to introduce an apprentice minimum wage of £2.50 per hour. 
 
The new rate will apply to apprentices under 19 and apprentices aged 19 and over who are in their first year of their apprenticeship.
 
Retirement age
 
People will be encouraged to work longer under government plans to scrap the default retirement age of 65 by October 2011.
 
Under the measures, employers will not be able to dismiss staff because they have reached the age of 65.
 
Peter Jones of The HR Dept Swindon advises that “this will have a huge impact on how employers operate their businesses and with some transitions taking place as early as April next year, employers don’t have much time to get to grips with the proposals. Planning is key and since the statutory retirement procedure will also be scrapped, it’s important for business owners to seek advice”.
 
Equality
 
The Equality Act brings together nine separate pieces of legislation, simplifying the law and strengthening it in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality.
 
Implementation of the majority of the Equality Act will begin on 1 October 2010. Peter advises that “businesses will need to keep up to date as the Equality Act will have wide ranging implications and will cover most situations where discrimination may be prevalent”.
 
Maternity
 
And don’t forget the changes to maternity and paternity rights which will come into force next April. This will mean that mothers of children due on or after 3rd April 2011 will be entitled to one year’s leave and 26 weeks of it can be swapped with a partner.
 
HR Dept logo Swindon
The HR Dept Swindon specialise in advising small and medium sized businesses on all employment and HR issues. More information via their website link below.
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