The most significant legislative change to take effect on 1 October is the introduction of the Equality Act 2010. A number of the more controversial elements of the Equality Act such as the public sector equality duty and the requirement to publish gender pay gap information remain under consideration and will not come into effect until April 2010 at earliest. However, the provisions relating to pre-employment health questionnaires (discussed further below), the prevention of pay secrecy clauses and the confirmation of protection against discrimination by association or perception do come into effect in October.

Also coming into effect on 1 October are the new national minimum wage rates. The new rates are:

  •  £5.93 per hour for workers aged 21 and over, increased from £5.80;
  •  £4.92 per hour for 18-20 year olds, increased from £4.83; and
  •  £3.64 per hour for 16-17 year olds, increased from £3.57.

In addition, the adult age rate has been changed from aged 22 and over to aged 21 and over.

Finally the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations will come into force from 1 October 2010. The Regulations mean that employment agencies will need to specify whether jobs advertised are temporary or permanent and they also make changes to the suitability checks that agencies are required to undertake in relation to candidates.