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We have summarised below some recent changes to employment law.
National Minimum Wage rates
New national minimum wages came into force on 1 October 2015, with the adult rate increasing from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour.
Recommendations in discrimination cases
On 1 October 2015, the Deregulation At 2015 (DRA 2015) removed the power of employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases. This means that a tribunal will no longer be able to order an employer to amend its diversity policy or organise additional training for staff. Tribunals will only be able to make recommendations on an individual complaint.
Right to wear a turban instead of a safety helmet
The DRA 2015 has also extended the current rights of Sikhs to wear a turban instead of a safety helmet on construction sites, to almost all workplaces in Great Britain.
There will be limited exceptions for certain roles within the military and other occupations such as the emergency services.
Slavery and human trafficking
Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, large businesses (with a turnover of at least £36m per year) will be required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement each year, outlining the measures they have taken to actively avoid the use of slavery in their supply chains.
In February 2015, the government published a consultation on guidance on the slavery and human trafficking statement, and the turnover thresholds for businesses required to make such a statement. Responses to consultation were published on 29 July 2015.
Further guidance is likely to be published on this new duty this month.