News and Events

Changes to employment law - the shifting sands

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Employment law rarely stays the same for very long and it is about this time of year that we see new changes being introduced by the Government.  There have been a number of developments in the law and some interesting initiatives loom on the horizon.

  • National minimum wage rates :  On 1 October the National Minimum Wage rates were increased.  The new rates are set out below;
    • Adult Rate (age 21+)                                £6.70  (from £6.50)
    • Development Rate (18-20)                     £5.30  (from £5.13)
    • Young Worker’s Rate (Under 18)          £3.87  (from £3.79)
    • Apprentice Rate                                       £3.30  (from £2.73)


  • Sikhs’ right to wear turbans : The right for Sikhs to wear turbans instead of safety helmets has been extended to cover all workplaces (with some limited exceptions).


  • Smoking in company cars : Smoking in private cars has been banned where children under the age of 18 are being carried as passengers.  Company vehicles were already required to be smoke-free unless the vehicle was being used primarily for private purposes. In view of the extension of the ban to private cars, companies may need to review their smoking and company car policies.


  • Slavery and human trafficking statements : The Government is to introduce a requirement that businesses with a turnover of £36m or more publish a statement on their websites detailing the steps taken to protect against slavery and human trafficking in their businesses or supply chains.


  • Shared parental leave for grandparents : The Government is considering allowing parents to transfer part of their shared parental leave to grandparents. This could free the parents to return to work sooner. We understand that the Government intends to commence consultation in early 2016 with implementation planned for 2018.   

For more information, please call the Dutton Gregory employment team on 01962 844333  /  02380 221 344  /  01202 466669 or email