From 1st October employers must not include tips in calculating if an employee is paid the national minimum wage. Until then it is lawful to do so. In addition, the Work and Families (Increase of Maximum Amount) Order 2009 comes into force.
The Order increases the maximum weekly amount from £350 to £380 that is used by employment tribunals to calculate awards for unfair dismissal and redundancy payments. October and April are the key dates when new employment laws come into force each year. A third change next month is that the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2009 come into force. These increase the minimum wage. The main rate goes from £5.73 per hour to £5.80 an hour and the development rate from £4.77 per hour to £4.83 per hour. The rate for those aged 16 and 17 years increases from £3.53 to £3.57 per hour.
The new Supreme Court that replaces the House of Lords as the highest Court in the land also comes into operation and with it the new Supreme Court Rules 2009 that set out the procedures in that Court. Finally, most employers need to register under data protection law and on the same date the Data Protection (Notification and Notification Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 amend the fees paid. Larger employers have to pay £500 a year not £35 as now.
Nearly 2 weeks later (on 12th October 2009) the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act introduces centralised vetting for people banned from working with children and vulnerable adults. Readers may have read in the press about some children’s authors complaining about the new requirements if they go into schools and it was even suggested that Her Majesty the Queen, on State visits to schools, might need to be vetted in advance. Employers will be able to make checks online, with information updated straight away when any individual is added to the list.
Employers will be informed if individuals are barred and employers can be fined up to £5000 if they knowingly employ individuals on the list or fail to make the relevant checks. The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (No. 2) Regulations 2009 come into force on 12th October too and changes the rules on making applications for an enhanced criminal records certificates under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
Call Debbie Mactaggart on 01924 387110 for more information on any of these measures or for an update/improvement of your existing employment contracts and procedures and, before you make any staff redundant, to ensure you follow proper procedures and minimise the risk of claims.