October legislation changes: what it means for your business

It’s that time of year again.  In October, a couple of changes will be applied to UK employment law that will affect every business in the country.

But don’t panic. Although these changes could make a big impact to your employees, your responsibilities are minimal. We’ve covered the basics here, but for our Sage People Advice customers you can always call us for more detail specific to your business.

Firstly, the national minimum wage (NMW) rates will increase on 1 October

That means you’ll have to pay at least:

  • £6.08 per hour for workers aged 21 or more.
  • £4.98 per hour for workers aged 18-20.
  • £3.68 per hour for workers aged 16-17.

You’ll also need to pay any apprentices who are under the age of 19 at least £2.60 per hour, as well as those aged 19 and over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

If you provide any workers with accommodation, the accommodation offset will be increased to a maximum of £4.73 per day.

The second change – is a big one.

From 1 October 2011, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will come into effect.

These regulations give agency temps a right to the same basic working and employment conditions as they would have had if they had been directly employed by the hirer to do the same job.

An agency temp will have to work for a qualifying period of 12 weeks, in the same role, with the same hirer, before they are entitled to equal treatment.

Occupational social security schemes, such as company pension schemes and occupational sick pay, are not included in basic working and employment conditions.

What’s more, all agency temps will be entitled to certain rights from the first day of an assignment, including access to canteens, childcare facilities, car parking and the right to be notified of permanent vacancies.

So what do I do?

Now you’ve got this information, you’re ahead of the game. Make sure that you start planning now to ensure you can make these changes to your business in plenty of time.

In terms of agency workers, it will be the resourcing agencies that have the bulk of the extra administration.

It’s a good idea to get in touch with your agency now to make sure you both have everything you need to start October without a hitch.

Matt Forrest, Small Business Team

Sage People Advice: For help with any areas of HR, Employment Law and Health and Safety for your business, contact our Sage People Advice team on 0845 111 2450. Alternatively, for a one off consultation, why not call our Pay As You Go team on 0844 8877 999