By Melanie Dawson, Marketing Co-ordinator, Sage UK Ltd

From October, there will be a couple of changes that businesses should be aware of regarding employment law and legislation.

The national minimum wage rates are going to increase on 1 October 2011. This means there will be changes to each level of minimum wage.

•£6.08 per hour for workers aged 21 or more

•4.98 per hour for workers aged 18-20

•£3.68 per hour for workers aged 16-17

•Apprentices who are under the age of 19 have to be paid at least £2.60 per hour as well as those aged 19 and over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

•For workers that are provided with accommodation, this will be increased to a maximum of £4.73 per day.

Another change that is occurring on 1 October 2011 – the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will come into effect. This is concerning agency temps and it entitles them to the same rights as the same basic working and employment conditions that they would have had if they were employed by the company. The agency temp will have to work a period of 12 weeks to qualify for this in the same role and with the same hirer before they are entitled to this.

Occupational social security schemes, such as company pension schemes and occupational sick pay, are not included in basic working and employment conditions. Also, all agency temps will be entitled to certain rights from the first day of an assignment, including access to childcare facilities, canteens, car parking and the right to be notified of permanent vacancies.

What do you as a business need to do?

Make sure you start planning. It is important as a business that you start to plan these changes within your business so you are ahead. In terms of agency workers, it will be the resourcing agencies that have the bulk of the extra administration.

It’s a good idea to get in touch with your agency now to make sure you both have everything you need from the start of October.

Here to help - Sage People Advice. For help with any areas of HR, Employment Law and Health and Safety for your business, contact our Sage People Advice. team on 0845 111 2450.

Alternatively, for a one off consultation, why not call our Pay As You Go team on 0844 88 77 999. (First call £25 +VAT)

Don’t forget to come along to Sage World — free business event 12th-13th October — visit the Sage World website here

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