It's that time of year.... As a business owner, it can often feel like there’s constantly a new piece of legislation on the horizon that you need to make sure that you’re compliant with. There’s no denying that it can sometimes be tricky and confusing, but the first step is to ensure that you know exactly what’s coming. This means that you can plan your next steps, and make any necessary changes so everything in your business is above board.

Let’s take a look at what you need to be aware of as we make our way into the final quarter…

  • Increased National Minimum Wage for certain age groups

From 1st October 2016, the National Minimum Wage for those under 25 but at least 21 will rise to £6.95 per hour. For workers who are at least 18 but under 21, the new rate will be £5.55. If you employ staff who are under 18 but no longer of compulsory school age, then you’ll have to pay a minimum of £4 per hour. Similarly, the apprenticeship rate will be increased to £3.40 per hour.

Staff aged 25 and above are unaffected by these changes, and the National Living Wage remains at £7.20 per hour.

The bottom line here is that if you employ younger members of staff, you need to make sure that you’re paying them what they’re legally entitled to.

  • Workplaces employing illegal foreign workers could be closed down

Employers who have neglected their duty to stamp out illegal working here in the UK could find that access to their premises is prevented for up to 48 hours. This could potentially be extended to 12 months, if a further order is made.

Though there’s no confirmed date for when this will come into force, it’s thought that it will be sooner rather than later.

If you’re concerned that you may have missed out important checks during your recruitment processes, now’s the time to take action and ensure that you have everything in order.

  • Sunday shop workers will have extended employment rights

Plans to allow local authorities to extend trading hours on Sundays were recently halted, but through the Enterprise Act 2016, the government will be giving shop workers greater rights when working on the Sabbath. These will include the right to object to working more than their usual hours on Sundays, and for those working in larger shops, a reduction in the notice period for opting out of Sunday working.

Again, the commencement date of this is is yet to be announced, though it makes sense for those in the retail industry to start making plans as soon as possible.

  • And one for the radar…. Gender pay gap reporting

Although it won’t impact small businesses, you should be aware of the knock on efect htat gender pay gap reportng is liekly to have as pay gaps become more visible. Employers with 250 or more employees will be required top ublish details of their gender pay gap and gender bonus gap on a yearly basis. It’s thought that the first reports will need to be published by April 2018, so we’ll be on the edge of our seats for that one…..

Navigating changes to employment law can be tricky, though it’s vitally important that you take the time to ensure that you’re fulfilling your responsibilities. Would you like to speak to an experienced professional about making sure that your policies and practices are compliant?

If so, get in touch today at hello@thehrhub.co.uk or by calling 0203 627 7048 to arrange an initial, no-obligation consultation. We’ll pinpoint any potential issues that are at play in your workplace, and give you practical advice around what you need to do next.

TheHRhub: The ultimate HR support for startups and SMEs.

Photocredit: Flickr Meia Weinstock

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