We summarise the October 2015 employment law changes.
To help employers manage the process of implementing change, the government tries to restrict employment law changes to 6 April and 1 October each year – the so-called ‘common commencement dates’.
On 1 October 2015, there are just two key employment law changes:
National Minimum Wage increases
The adult national minimum wage will increase to £6.70 per hour from 1 October. For the other relevant rates, see the Current rates and limits page in our resources section.
Note that the government is introducing a new national living wage of £7.20 per hour from April 2016 for those aged 25 or over.
Repeal of tribunal power to make wide recommendations in discrimination claims
If a claimant brings a claim of discrimination and is successful in showing that they have been discriminated against, an employment tribunal has the power to award a range of remedies. The key remedy is compensation, but the tribunal also has the power to make a “recommendation” that the employer takes certain steps within a specified timeframe.
Currently, the tribunal can make a recommendation for the benefit of the wider workforce. In recent cases, tribunals have ordered employers to organise diversity training, redraft their policies and change their recruitment processes.
From 1 October 2015, the tribunal will be restricted to making recommendations which benefit the claimant. The main practical implication is that, if the claimant has left the company, the tribunal can no longer make a recommendation that the employer organise training or change its processes – because this would no longer benefit the claimant.