The following changes, which will be relevant to employers, will be taking place on 1 October 2012:
Pensions auto-enrolment begins
The Pensions Act 2008 and the Pensions Act 2011 require employers to auto-enrol eligible jobholders, who are not participating in a workplace pension scheme, into a qualifying pension scheme or the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).
From 1 October 2012, employers with more than 120,000 members in their PAYE scheme will begin auto-enrolment, with smaller and new businesses phased in over the next five years.
Pensions auto-enrolment: disclosure regime amended
The Employers’ Duties (Implementation) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 come into force and amend the disclosure regime to take into account the introduction of pensions auto-enrolment.
The Regulations introduce a one month timescale for the trustees of auto-enrolment schemes to issue basic scheme information to jobholders. This will help to ensure that members receive the information before the end of the opt-out period. Non-automatic enrolment schemes will be required to provide the basic scheme information to members within two months of the person joining the scheme.
Also, the list of what information must be provided to individuals as part of the basic scheme information will be expanded to include an explanation as to how persons who are eligible to be members of the scheme are admitted to it. This will also include whether they are to be automatically enrolled.
National Minimum Wage increases to £6.19 per hour
1. The standard adult rate (workers aged 21 and over) will rise from £6.08 to £6.19 per hour;
2. The development rate (workers aged between 18 and 20) will remain at £4.98 per hour;
3. The young workers rate (workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) will remain at £3.68 per hour;
4. The rate for apprentices will rise from £2.60 to £2.65 per hour; and
5. The accommodation offset will rise from £4.73 to £4.82 per day.
Smoke-free requirements in vehicles and buildings amended
The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2012 come into force and revoke the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations 2007, replacing the detailed requirements for the display of no-smoking signs in smoke-free vehicles and buildings prescribed by the 2007 Regulations with a requirement that at least one legible no-smoking sign must be displayed
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised, or anything else employment-related, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.