White Horse Employment and Professional Resources

Issue 58, October 2011

What's Changed?
In Employment Law...

The 1st October 2011 saw the introduction of some key changes to employment law that organisations of all sizes need to be aware of. From the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations to the abolition of the default retirement age, are you an employer in the know?

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Agency Workers Regulations

Agency workers are now entitled to be treated equally to organisations' "directly recruited" employees for basic employment conditions, such as pay and holidays, after they have worked in the same role for the same hirer for 12 weeks, under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.

Remember that it’s not only agencies that have responsibilities under these regulations - employers that hire agency workers still have obligations under the Regulations. From the first day of their assignments, agency workers are entitled to the same access to job vacancies and collective facilities as permanent members of staff, such as staff canteens, childcare facilities and transport services.

Read more on how the Agency Workers Regulations will affect you, with our handy guide.

We also offer one-to one sessions with local employers who maybe unsure of their obligations together with guidance on how to minimise the affect of the legislation.

To book a session with an experienced and qualified consultant, email me at emma.roberts@wh-employment.co.uk

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Abolition of the default retirement age

Transitional arrangements for the removal of the default retirement age in the UK have been in force since the 6th April, and since then employers have been prevented from issuing new notifications of retirement using the default retirement age. This means that if an employer wishes to operate a compulsory retirement age, it will need to objectively justify it.

Retirements that were already in motion prior to this date can continue through to completion if the employee reaches the age of 65 (or the employer's normal retirement age if that is higher) on or before 30th September. This means that no employee who turned 65 on or after 1st October can be retired under the default retirement age.

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National Minimum Wage

The main rate of the national minimum wage rose from £5.93 to £6.08 per hour. The development rate rose from £4.92 to £4.98 per hour, and the rate for workers aged 16 to 17 rose from £3.64 to £3.68 per hour. The apprentice rate also increased from £2.50 to £2.60 per hour.

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