The start of October means two things; autumn has finally arrived and changes to business laws are on the cards. Here, we've highlighted some of the key changes that we think all businesses should be aware of from next month.
Removal of employers' strict civil liability for injuries in the workplace
Employees injured at work will only be able to pursue health and safety claims based on common law negligence, so employers will no longer be liable for events completely beyond their control.
However, employers will still need to make sure they meet their statutory requirements for health and safety in the workplace.
Simplification of health and safety reporting arrangements
From October, fewer occurrences of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences will require reporting. The Health and Safety Executive will be publishing new guidance on reporting in advance of the changes. This should reduce administrative burdens of health and safety reporting.
Removal of employers' liability for third party harassment of employees
Removes the section of the Equality Act 2010 which places responsibility on employers for harassment of their employees by third parties, such as customers.
However, the employer may still be considered liable if they are found to be negligent in ignoring employees' complaints.
National Minimum Wage increase 2013
From 1st October, the National Minimum Wage will increase to:
- £6.31/hour for adults 21 and over
- £5.03/hour for 18-20 year olds
- £3.72/hour 16-17 year olds
- £2.68/hour for apprentices.
The National Minimum Wage increases every year in October, see the current rate here.
The introduction of a fast-track planning application scheme
Where the local planning authority has been assessed as performing poorly, planning applications will be able to be made directly to the Secretary of State, bypassing slow local planning authorities. This should hopefully speed up planning applications, particularly for business.
For further advice and support on dealing with changes to regulation, find out how the Forum can help. Call us on 0845 130 1722.