Important employment laws to come into force from 1 October

The month of October brings a number of new changes in employment law which include an increase to the national minimum wage and the amendment of third party harassment provisions.

From 1 October, in line with the recommendations set out in April by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC), the following minimum wage rises come into force:

  • Increase to the adult rate by 12p to £6.31 an hour
  • the rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 5p to £5.03 an hour
  • the rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour
  • the apprentice rate will see a rise of 3p taking it to £2.68 an hour

More than 890,000 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers are expected to benefit from these increases.

Employers who fail to pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW) to employees will be publicly named and shamed under recently announced plans to make it easier to clamp down on businesses failing to comply.

Also from 1 October, third party harassment provisions will be removed from the Equality Act 2010 because the government suggested that the provisions imposed additional liabilities on businesses.

However, don’t be fooled into thinking that this gets employers off the hook – there are alternative legal routes that employees can pursue if they consider that they have been subjected to repeated harassment by a third party.

These include bringing a claim under the general harassment provisions of the Equality Act 2010, a claim for constructive dismissal, a claim for negligence and a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

At Palmers Solicitors, our employment law team can provide advice and guidance on all aspects of employment legislation. For more information about our employment law services, please contact Lara Murray.