Four employment law changes that took effect on 1 October 2013 which HR Managers and employers need to know about.
On 1 October 2013, four employment law changes took effect.
Third party harassment provisions repealed
Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010 has been repealed. This section meant that employers could be liable for the harassment of their employees by third parties (such as customers or visitors) under some circumstances. The repeal of the provisions does not mean that employers will never be liable if their staff are harassed by a third party, however. Employers could still potentially face claims under section 26 of the Equality Act 2010 and/or for constructive unfair dismissal if an employee feels that their trust and confidence has been undermined by workplace harassment.
National Minimum Wage Increase
The National Minimum Wage for workers aged 21 and over increased from £6.19 to £6.31 per hour. Different rates apply for younger workers or apprentices.
Shareholder votes on executive pay
Quoted companies will now need to obtain shareholder approval for their Directors' remuneration policies, at least every three years. Directors who sign off on payments without proper approval can be personally liable to the company for any loss.
Changes to RIDDOR
New changes to the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) clarify and simplify the accident reporting requirements for employers. The HSE has estimated that these changes will produce a net benefit to businesses of £5.9m over a 10 year period.