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Businesses face 'red tape day' this week

Businesses in the UK are to face a barrage of new regulations this week, including changes to minimum wages, employment tribunals and disciplinary discrimination rules, in what is being called 'red tape day'.

Link: SMEs at risk from more red tape, warns PCG

The 1 October will see the introduction of a host of fresh rules that UK companies will have to adhere to. The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that many employers are unaware of even the most vital changes, namely the introduction of a new 3-step procedure in the event of a dismissal, disciplinary action or grievance in the workplace.

‘The Government’s objectives for introducing this legislation are sound,’ John Walker, FSB policy chairman, told the Financial Times. ‘But as with so many well-intentioned initiatives the complexity of the regulations make them a potential minefield for small firms. The new rules will have a wide-ranging impact on the way employers do their business and we are concerned that this impact has been under-estimated.’

The legislation being introduced from 1 October is:

  • Statutory minimum dismissal, disciplinary and grievance procedures;
  • A revised version of the code of practice for disciplinary and grievance procedures;
  • Amendments to the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act;
  • Changes to the rules on equal pay for work of equal value claims in employment tribunals;
  • New rules for awarding costs, fixing conciliation periods and introducing new claim and response forms in employment tribunals;
  • Changes to minimum wage regulations for workers paid per task performed;
  • An increase in the hourly minimum wage rate to £4.85 for adults, £4.10 for 18 to 21-year olds and £3 for school leavers.

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