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Important October changes to employment law

Important October changes to employment law

October is set to be a significant month in the world of employment law. Here are some of the important changes that are set to be implemented from 1 October this year:

National Minimum Wage

The national minimum wage has increased for all age groups, as the table below shows:


Age Group

Previous NMW

New NMW

21 years old+

£6.31

£6.50

18-20 years

£5.03

£5.13

16-17 year olds

£3.72

£3.79

Apprentices under 19 or 19+ in first year of apprenticeship

£2.68

£2.73


Obviously this is good news for those who receive an automatic pay rise as a result. As an employer, you will know that it is vital to ensure that you conform to any compulsory payment changes set by the government.

Equal Pay Audits- Employment Tribunals

Employers who have lost equal pay claims before an employment tribunal will be required to complete and publish equal pay audits – this move is a government attempt to tackle the gender pay gap.

An audit must explain any relevant gender pay information / differences / reasons for potential breaches and how the company or employer plans to prevent inequality from happening again.

It is the duty of tribunals to impose pay audits where employers are found to have discriminated on the grounds of sex in contractual pay matters, or in non-contractual pay matters where continuing discrimination is likely.

Employment Tribunals can put aside this obligation under certain circumstances including when:

  • The employer has completed an audit within the previous three years
  • It is obvious what is needed to avoid equal pay breaches reoccurring
  • Disadvantages of an audit outweigh the advantages
  • The breach does not indicate there will be further breaches

Time off for antenatal appointments

As of October 1 2014, the husband / civil partner / partner of a pregnant woman will have the right to unpaid time off so that they can attend up to 2 antenatal appointments.

If you are an employer or employee (or ex-employee) who is looking for legal advice regarding a claim in the workplace, contact us today on 0115 9 985 245 for a free consultation.