October marks annual governmental revisions and updates to employment law. This HR Fact Sheet highlights the pick of this autumn’s changes.
1. MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENTS
Slavery is NOT a thing of the past. Slavery is real and exists today. However, forced or compulsory labour, servitude and human trafficking are all what constitutes slavery today.
Companies with an annual turnover of £36m plus have now (from this October) to publish a MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT. Whilst government guidelines are promised (in line with the Modern Slavery Act, 2015), the statement can be prepared now. It should contain ways in which the company actively prevents modern slavery from occurring in their business. Especially, including the whole supply chain in which they commercially exist.
2. SIKH SAFETY HELMET EXEMPTION
Turban-wearing Sikhs are now (from October 1st 2015) exempt from wearing safety headwear AT ALL WORKPLACES. Because the exemption has been extended from construction sites to places such as warehouses, factories, transportation, etc.
Emergency response workers and armed forces will still be required to wear head protection.
3. MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
As from October 1st 2015, the national minimum wage hourly rate has been increased from £6.50 to £6.70 for adults, as well as similar increases for young workers and apprentices.
4. A LOSS OF POWER FOR TRIBUNALS
Again, from October 1st, Tribunals no longer have the power to make recommendations that go beyond an employee’s circumstances in a claim for discrimination.
5. SMOKING IN CARS WITH CHILDREN BANNED
Employers will now need to revise their company car policies in cases where employees use company cars for family purposes. As from October 1st 2015, drivers of private cars in England will be banned from smoking in them if they are carrying children as passengers.
This is already in force in Wales and Scotland will follow shortly.
6. FIT FOR WORK (FFW) SERVICE UP AND RUNNING
Helping employees return to work following sickness absence. The new FFW scheme is now functional. Employers can refer an employee, who has been absent for at least 4 weeks, for a free occupational health assessment. Advice on this and other occupational health matters is available on the FFW website.
Further information on all of the above is available. Please ask!
Other interesting topics on the cards. Obesity is a disability, dismissal for mobile phone usage whilst driving, removal of Muslim Quran is not religious discrimination.
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