By Marcus Leach

Three significant pieces of legislation which come into force this Saturday will fundamentally affect companies and employees in the UK.

From 1st October, the Agency Workers Regulation will, after 12 weeks employment, give temporary agency workers the right to the same basic working and employment conditions as if they had been recruited directly by the hiring company.

This applies to pay, working hours, overtime, holidays, rest periods, access to vacancies and to other facilities. With the UK reliant on large numbers of temporary workers, many are concerned about the effect this will have on companies, particularly those with seasonal demand for their products and services.

The Default Retirement Age will also be scrapped and from 1st October, making it illegal for employers to force their workers to retire at 65. By the early 2020s, people aged between 50 and 64 will comprise almost a third of the workforce and therefore many are calling for employers to adapt their practices and recruitment strategies to cater for this growing number of older workers.

The Minimum Wage will increase from 1st October, which will see the lowest paid workers receive a 2.5% pay rise to £6.08 per hour. The rise has been criticised for being inadequate to help the poorest cope with the rocketing price of essentials such as food. Meanwhile, there are also worries that it could prevent the worrying number of unemployed workers from finding new jobs.

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