Category Archives: 1 October 2014

New Legislation in Force 1 October 2014

SUMMARY:  Several key employment law changes will be implemented on 1 October 2014:

  1. National minimum wage.  The national minimum wage rates for all workers will increase.  In summary:

1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014

From 1 October 2014

Standard Adult Rate

£6.31

£6.50

Development Rate

£5.03

£5.13

Young Workers Rate

£3.72

£3.79

Apprenticeship Rate

£2.68

£2.73

  1. Power to order equal pay audits.  Tribunals will have the power to order employers found to have been in breach of equal pay law to carry out equal pay audits in certain circumstances.
  1. Reserve Forces reform. The statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal will be removed where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces.   There will also be provision for payments to small and medium-sized employers of reservists who are called up.  See our article posted on Military Reservists and Unfair Dismissal posted on 22 September 2014 for further details.
  1. Time off to accompany partner to antenatal appointments.   Employees and agency workers will have a right to take unpaid time off to accompany a pregnant woman with whom they have a “qualifying relationship” to up to two antenatal appointments, up to a maximum of six and a half hours for each appointment. For more information on this, see our newsletter which is published on 1 October 2014.

Contact Details

For more details about upcoming changes in employment law please contact:

fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

Military Reservists & Unfair Dismissal

Military Reserves DismissalSUMMARY: Military reservists have immediate unfair dismissal rights

Dismissing military reservists

Most employees are required to have 2 years’ continuous service with their employer before they have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal; this period of time is known as the statutory qualifying period.

It is already a criminal offence for an employer to dismiss a military reservist because they are called out or likely to be called out. However, until 1 October 2014, reservists have to wait until they have acquired 2 years’ service before they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. It could take a reservist longer than another employee to accrue 2 years’ service because periods of call-up are not usually counted for continuity of employment purposes.

From 1 October 2014, there will be no statutory qualifying period for unfair dismissal where the dismissal is connected with the employee’s membership of the Reserve Forces (the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve or Royal Auxiliary Air Force).

Costs

There is already an award (of up to £110 per day) available to employers in respect of replacement costs incurred as a result of the reservist’s absence. From 1 October 2014, small and medium-sized employers will be entitled to an additional monthly payment of £500 for each full month that a mobilised reservist is absent from work, assuming that they are on a full-time contract and work at least 35 hours a week. This payment is intended to cover the quantifiable extra costs of employing a temporary replacement, including agency fees, advertising and training costs.

Likely effect on employers

It is unlikely that many unfair dismissal claims will be brought by reservists even once the requirement for qualifying service has been removed. This is because a former employer is obliged to re-employ any reservist who was employed by it in the four-week period before mobilisation. The employee must be allowed to return to their job within six months after the end of their military service, and re-employment should be in the same job and on terms and conditions no less favourable than those which would have applied if there had been no call-up. If total reinstatement is not reasonable and practicable, the employee must be offered the most favourable terms and conditions that are reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.

An employee who is not re-employed can start a Reinstatement Committee case. This is similar to an employment tribunal claim, but an advantage to the employee is that there are no fees to start such a case, or have it heard. This is therefore likely to be the first port of call for any reservist who is not taken on by their employer following a period of mobilisation.

Contact Details

For more details about unfair dismissal and employing military reservists please contact:

fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

National Minimum Wage Increases

coins-123rf-ref-47388381Summary: Employers should be aware that from 1 October 2014 changes to the national minimum wage will come into effect.

The Changes

The Government has announced the following changes to the national minimum wage which will take effect from 1 October 2014:

From 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014

From 1 October 2014

Standard Adult Rate

£6.31

 £6.50

Development Rate

£5.03

 £5.13

Young Workers Rate

£3.72

 £3.79

Apprenticeship Rate

£2.68

 £2.73

The Categories

The Standard Adult Rate

This rate applies to workers aged 21 or over.

The Development Rate

This rate applies to workers aged between 18 and 20 inclusive.

The Young Workers’ Rate

This rate applies to workers aged below 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices.

 Apprenticeship Rate

This rate applies to all apprentices under 19 years of age or those aged 19 and over but in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Contact Details

For more details about the minimum wage changes please contact:

fgmedia@fgsolicitors.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.