Legal advice: Check your new legal obligations

Related tags London solicitor joelson Minimum wage Discrimination Harassment

By Rebecca Caws of thePublican.com's team of legal experts from London solicitor Joelson Wilson.The National Minimum WageOnce again the National...

By Rebecca Caws of thePublican.com's team of legal experts from London solicitor Joelson Wilson.

The National Minimum Wage

Once again the National Minimum Wage (NMW) has been increased with effect from October 1. There are three main hourly rates of pay: for adults aged 22 and above; for youths aged 18 to 21; and for 16 and 17-year-olds. These rates are now £5.05, £4.25 and £3 respectively.

The government has indicated that certain changes will be considered over the next year. These include dropping the age qualification for the adult rate to 21 and introducing interest or financial penalties for businesses found guilty of failing to pay the minimum.

So if you are taking on extra staff over the busy Christmas period check their ages and remember the NMW.

Sex discrimination.

New regulations also came into effect on October 1 which amend the definition of indirect discrimination and introduce a new definition of harassment. This will now include sexual harassment - for example, unwanted sexual advances.

It may now be easier for a sex discrimination claim based on harassment to succeed. Compensation for discrimination is not limited in the way that an unfair dismissal claim is, so employers should ensure preventative procedures are communicated to staff and enforced. This will mitigate in helping avoid liability for the discriminatory acts of your employees.

Tribunal claims.

Whether you are making a claim or trying to defend one, it is now obligatory to use the proper new tribunal forms. Failure to do so means your claim or response will not be accepted by the tribunal, which could have costly consequences.

For further information visit www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk​.

Related topics Licensing law

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