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Stay up to date with business law changes from October 2014

October marks another common commencement date, the time when law changes are brought in. Make sure your business is prepared – members can call us on 0845 130 1722 for expert help backed up by legal protection insurance.

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From October 2014

National minimum wage increase in October

From 1st October, the national minimum wage rate will rise – the over 21 rate will go up from £6.31 to £6.50, see all new rates here. And remember, there is now a £20,000 penalty in place for businesses that don’t pay the correct rates.

Right to time off for antenatal appointments

An expectant father or the partner of a pregnant woman is now entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to antenatal appointments. There is no qualifying period for this right to take effect.

Changes to consumer law

From October, consumers will have new rights to bring action against traders who use misleading and aggressive practices. Since June this year, business providing goods and/or services to consumers online or by email or phone have also been subject to new regulations. Read more » 

Reservists protection against unfair dismissal

Where an employee is dismissed because they are a member of the reserve forces, the normal two-year service requirement for bringing an unfair dismissal claim will not apply.

Tax discs scrapped

From 1st October, a paper tax disc no longer needs to be displayed on a vehicle. Also, vehicle tax is not transferable so you won’t be able to include any remaining tax when you sell a vehicle. Read more »

Law changes on the horizon

Commission during holiday

One potential law change that is making its way in through the European Court of Justice means that you may have to include average commission payments in an employee’s holiday pay. Read more here and call us on 0845 130 1722 for further advice. 

Shared parental leave

The big change coming in from October is the right to shared parental leave. Although it won’t affect parents unless their child is born or adopted on or after 1st April 2015, it’s best to start preparing now.

Sickness and absence – advice service

In 2015, the government will launch a new Health and Work Service with the aim of getting employees on long term sickness back to their jobs. Unfortunately for employers this is at the cost of the Percentage Threshold Scheme, which was scrapped back in April. Under the scheme employers could claim back a percentage of SSP for employees on long term sick leave. The deadline for any PTS claims for the 2013/14 financial year is 1st April 2016. Read more here » 

Sick pay during notice

Not a new change, but something we’ve had a lot of helpline calls about so we thought it was worth reminding you about structuring your contracts so you don’t end up paying more than you should when an employee leaves.

Pensions auto enrolment

You may be sick of hearing about it by now but the pensions auto enrolment wagon just keeps rolling on, with August seeing the start of the 12-month countdown for businesses with 30-49 employees. If you’ve not already, you need to find out your staging date and what to do next – find more resources and a free pensions checklist on our website.

Flexible working

During the summer, changes came in that mean all employees now have the right to make flexible working requests. Know your rights as an employers and how to handle flexible working requests.

Food labelling regulations

If you run a business that prepares and serves food, you need to be aware of new allergen labelling laws coming in from December.

Employment Guide updated for 2015 – are you up to date? 

With October law changes just around the corner, we’ve updated our Employment Guide to reflect upcoming law changes for 2014/15. It contains step-by-step processes on every aspect of employment law, so you can make sure you’re following the correct procedures. 

If you already subscribe to the Guide, your new copy will be sent out in early October. If you'd like to subscribe, sign up to our Employer Xtra package. From £300/year you’ll also get a practical health and safety guide, plus enhanced legal protection, employment tribunal support and an annual health check of your employee contract. Complete peace of mind that your business is protected and up to date. Call us on 0845 130 1722 to find out more