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Employment law shake-up from 1 October

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A number of important employment laws and legislations come into force tomorrow.

From 1 October a number of key changes will be made covering executive pay, third party harassment provisions, pension protection from TUPE transfers and national minimum wage.

Executive pay

After more than a year of consultations and discussions on draft legislation, the proposals from the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on board pay are due to begin.

The major changes are:

Next year shareholders will have a binding vote on board pay

Directors who authorise payments not approved by shareholders will be personally liable

Much greater disclosure of board pay, including a single pay figure which will be subject to an advisory shareholder vote

The aim of the new rules is to ensure greater transparency for board pay and to encourage engagement between shareholders and companies.

Third party harassment provisions

The third party harassment provisions have been repealed as part of the Government's 'red tape' challenge, on the basis that they are unnecessary.

However, employers may still be liable for acts of harassment by third parties, even if the act occurs after 1 October, as employees will be able to frame a claim in a different way.

For example, an employer's failure to address third party harassment suffered by an employee could in itself amount to harassment or could give rise to a constructive unfair dismissal claim.

Amended protection for employee pensions rights on a TUPE transfer

Following a consultation, new regulations take effect on 1 October 2013, which change the obligations on the transferee post-transfer in relation to employees who were or were eligible to be members of an occupational pension pre-transfer.

Previously, the transferee was required to provide access to a scheme, which met certain requirements and, in most cases, was required to match contributions made by the employee, up to a maximum of 6% of salary.

The new regulations give the transferee the option of satisfying its pensions obligations under TUPE by paying contributions that match those paid by the transferor for the relevant employee immediately before the transfer.

Increase to National Minimum Wage

The minimum wage will increase by 12p an hour to £6.31.

Look out for tomorrow's detailed analysis of all key employment law changes on HRmagazine.co.uk.