5 Employment Law legislation changes in October

27 October 2015

1. National Minimum wage increase

The minimum wage has today been raised by 20p an hour, to £6.70 an hour. The TUC general secretary has said the increase is “welcome but hardly cause for euphoria”. The rise will benefit more than 1.4 million who are currently on the minimum wage.

2. Tribunals lose power to make wider recommendations

Tribunals no longer have any power to make recommendations that go beyond an employee’s own circumstances in a discrimination claim.

3. Exemption extended to all workplaces – Sikh safety helmet

The exemption of turban wearing Sikhs from wearing a helmet on a construction site has been extended to all workplaces. This means that Sikhs will no longer have to wear protective helmets in places such as warehouses and factories.

4. Referrals will be available under the new Fit for Work service

Employers are now able to refer an employee for a free occupational health assessment when an employee has been absent from work for over 4 weeks.

5. Ban on smoking in cars with children

It is now illegal for anyone to smoke in a car when somebody under the age of 18 is present. The offender will be fined £50 if caught. Employers may now have to revise their smoking and company car policies, as employees may be using the company’s car for family purposes.

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