Seasonal changes: What’s new for October 2013

seasonal changes - falling leavesThe biannual employment law changes (every April and October) took place this month and we have a few to share with you:

1 October 2013

Directors’ pay and reporting: there is a new voting and disclosure regime for the remuneration of directors of quoted companies, including:

  • shareholders have the power to approve directors’ pay and will also have a binding vote on pay policy and exit payments; and
  • for financial years ending on or after 30 September 2013, the annual directors’ remuneration report will need to contain (1) a statement by the chair of the remuneration committee; (2) the company’s policy on directors’ remuneration; and (3) information on how the remuneration policy was implemented in the previous financial year.

Repeal of third party harassment (under the Equality Act): this removes employer liability for harassment of their staff by people from outside their organisation. Importantly, this does not leave employees entirely unprotected. Other legal routes to sue employers for third party harassment still exist, such as other discrimination laws, constructive dismissal and health and safety legislation. Employers should therefore continue to follow up on employee allegations of mistreatment by customers or clients.

National minimum wage: The standard adult rate (for workers aged 21 and over) rises to £6.31 per hour (from £6.19) and the rate for workers aged 18-20 to £5.03 (from £4.98).

TUPE and pension auto-enrolment: this brings the pension protection given by TUPE to transferring employees in line with the pension auto-enrolment provisions. This ensures that the pension contributions paid by the new employer (transferee) match those paid by the old employer (transferor).

7 October 2013

Tribunal remission fees: this allows the waiver of part or all of Employment Tribunal fees for less wealthy applicants. The new system comprises of both a disposable capital and an income test. For further information on this scheme please see our September Newsletter Government reforms (2): Tribunal fees.