Here is a quick reminder of the new legislation taking effect in October and November:

• On 1 October the national minimum wage increases to £5.73 per hour. The development rate and youth rates rise to £4.77 and £3.53 respectively.

• The Sex Discrimination Act is amended for mothers whose expected week of childbirth starts from 5 October onwards, so that they are entitled to all the benefits of their contract (excluding remuneration) throughout their maternity leave (ie, not just during ordinary maternity leave as was previously the case).

• At the end of November tier 2 (skilled workers) and tier 5 (temporary workers) of the new points-based immigration system will open. The UK Borders Agency says that employers should apply for a sponsor licence by 1 October in order to be ready for the opening of these tiers.