On 1 October 2015 several key employment law changes will be introduced. These are:
- The National Minimum Wage is to increase by 20 pence to £6.70 per hour for workers aged 21 or more. Workers aged 18-20 will be entitled to £5.30 per hour, those under 18 to £3.87 and apprentices under 19 (or in the first year of their apprenticeship) to £3.30. This will be unaffected by the National Living Wage for workers aged over 25 which is to be introduced in April next year.
- The power of employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases will be repealed. Tribunals will only be able to make recommendations relating to the successful claimant.
- Sikhs will be allowed to choose to wear a turban instead of a safety helmet in almost all workplaces, with certain exceptions in the military and emergency services.
- Self-employed individuals who do not employ others will no longer be covered by health and safety legislation, with certain exceptions.
Later in October (although a date is still to be announced), the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will require all large businesses (those with a turnover of £36 million or more per year) to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement in which they must set out the action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are slavery free.