Employment law: minimum/living wage, health & safety

From Sandy Adirondack’s Legal Update:

National Minimum Wage rates went up on 1st October. There have also been other recent changes, e.g. around penalties for not paying NMW and guidance for local authorities on taking NMW payment into account in the tendering process for care and support contracts. Details on Sandy’s website.

The new NMW rates are:

  • £6.70 for those aged 21 and over.
  • £5.30, 18 to 20 year olds.
  • £3.87 under 18.
  • £3.30 for apprentices under 19, or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

Government NMW rates page or see ACAS.

Living Wage

The Scottish Government has announced it will favour those who pay the Living Wage in its public procurement. It has published guidance for all local authorities, health boards and other public bodies, who will have to at least consider how they might enable the payment of the living wage through their contracts. Also see SCVO article.

The slightly different National Living Wage, announced by the UK Chancellor in the 2015 Summer Budget, is also covered in Sandy’s update, as above.

Health and safety

From 1st October, many self employed workers no longer have to comply with health and safety legislation. HSE web pages for self-employed.

From 1st October, Sikhs can wear a turban rather than a safety helmet at any workplace (with a few exceptions), not just on construction sites. HSE FAQ on Sikh head protection.

Parental leave

From Daniel Barnett’s Employment Law Bulletin:

The government is planning to extend shared parental leave to include grandparents. Some important ‘small print’ points missed off most of the press reports:
•    The aim is to bring this in by 2018.
•    It only affects working grandparents
•    There will be a consultation on the details during the first half of 2016.

UPDATE: Sandy has also got a piece on this.