Irwin Mitchell | Employment Law Update | What employment law changes are coming up in October 2015

What employment law changes are coming up in October 2015?

We set out the most significant employment law changes in this handy guide.

National Minimum Wage - 1 October 2015

National Minimum Wage increases come into effect:

  • Adult rate increases from £6.50 to £6.70
  • 18-20 year old rate increases from £5.13 to £5.30
  • 16-17 year old rate increases from £3.79 to £3.89
  • Apprenticeship rate increases from £2.73 to £3.30

Employment Tribunal Recommendations - 1 October 2015

Tribunals will no longer be able to make recommendations to benefit the whole workforce following a successful discrimination claim. However, Tribunals will retain the power to make recommendations that benefit an individual claimant.

Modern Slavery Statements (expected to come into force in October 2015)

Employers with an annual turnover of £36 million or more are expected to have to publish a modern slavery statement each year setting out what steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in any part of their business or supply chain.

The turnover of any subsidiaries has to be taken into account to determine if this threshold has been met. It also refers to the company’s global turnover and not just turnover in the UK. This will bring more organisations within the scope of the reporting requirement.

The Government has indicated that it will issue non-prescriptive guidance on what a slavery and human trafficking statement should contain, but this will only be available at the same time as the legislation takes effect.

This makes it more difficult for businesses to prepare. The statement must set out the steps the business has taken to ensure that slavery and modern trafficking is not taking place in any of its supply chains (or its own business) or state that it has taken no steps. It may also include information about:

  • The organisation's structure, business and its supply chains.
  • Its policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking.
  • Its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains.
  • The parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk.
  • Its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate.
  • The training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff.

The statement must be approved by the board, signed by a director and published on the company’s website.

There will be some transitional provisions to assist those businesses whose financial year end of business is close to the date the duty comes into force.

Employment Update - September 2015