What’s changing today?
National Minimum wage increases
- The standard adult rate (for workers aged 21 and over) has increased to £6.31 an hour (from £6.19);
- The development rate (for workers aged between 18 and 20) has risen to £5.03 an hour (from £4.98);
- The young workers rate (for workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) has risen to £3.72 an hour (from £3.68);
- The rate for apprentices has increased from £2.65 to £2.68 an hour.
Abolition of third-party harassment
Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010 provided that an employer could be held liable for harassment by a third party (such as a customer or contractor) if harassment had occurred in the course of employment on at least two earlier occasions; the employer was aware that harassment had taken place; and the employer had failed to take reasonably practicable steps to stop it. Section 40 has now been repealed and claimants who are harassed by third parties after 1 October 2013 will have to rely on the “normal” harassment provisions in section 26 of the Act (arguing that an employer’s inaction in the face of third-party harassment amounts to unwanted conduct “related to” a protected characteristic that violated their dignity or created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them). Alternatively, it may be possible to bring a negligence or constructive dismissal claim or a claim for breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 or the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
For financial years ending on or after 30 September 2013, the annual directors’ remuneration report for quoted companies will need to contain a statement by the chair of the remuneration committee, the company’s policy on directors’ remuneration and information on how the remuneration policy was implemented in the previous financial year. Shareholders have a binding vote on the remuneration policy, which must be approved by ordinary resolution at least every three years. Companies will then be prohibited from making any payments to directors unless they are consistent with the approved remuneration policy.