New business regulations from 1 October 2011

A series of new business regulations came into effect on 1 October 2011. Below is our summary of some of the important legislation that may affect you and your business.

Increase in the National Minimum Wage

The new minimum wage limits from 1 October 2011 are as follows:

  • £6.08 an hour to workers aged 21 and above
  • £4.98 an hour to workers aged 18-20
  • £3.68 an hour to workers aged below 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age
  • £2.60 an hour - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

More information on the new National Minimum Wage limits can be found here.

Default retirement age scrapped

The default retirement age (DRA) has been scrapped from 1 October 2011.

This means that a business can no longer set a mandatory retirement age of 65. The regulation has been phased in between 1 April 2011 and 1 October 2011.

More guidance on this can be found here.

New agency worker rules come in

New agency worker laws mean that temporary workers will be entitled to more. The rules are effective from 1 October 2011, and mean that.

From day 1
Temporary workers must be entitled to:

  • Access to the same on-site facilities as employees - e.g. canteens, childcare and parking
  • Access to information on any relevant job vacancies

After 12 weeks
The hirer must give agency workers equal entitlements to:

  • Key elements of pay - including salary, overtime pay, shift allowances, bonuses, lunch vouchers and annual leave pay
  • Working time - including duration of work time, night work, rest periods, breaks and annual leave.

More information on the new agency regulations can be found here.