30 September 2013

Changes effective from 1 October 2013

Changes to responsibility for harassment

Section 40 of the Equality Act concerning an employer's responsibility for harassment by a third party will be repealed. This change removes the provision in the original Equality Act which meant that an employer could be held liable for the harassment of an employee by a third party if harassment had occurred on at least two previous occasions and the employer knew about it but had not taken reasonable steps to prevent it. Employees will still be able to make claims for discrimination and harassment in such circumstances however they will have to rely on general case law on liability for discrimination and harassment.

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

The NMW hourly pay rates will increase as follows:

  • £6.31 from £6.19 - adult rate (21 years and over)
  • £5.03 from £4.98 - youth development rate (18-20 years old)
  • £3.72 from £3.68 - 16 & 17 year old rate
  • £2.68 from £2.65 - apprentice rate.

The NMW will also apply to the agricultural sector for the first time from 1 October 2013.

Health and Safety changes

New regulations revoke and replace the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 to clarify the requirement for reporting serious work-related accidents and incidents. Additionally, the Health and Safety Executive will no longer be required to approve first-aid training and qualifications.

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