1st October 2008  


 Issue No.  2008/20



October is a key month for implementation of new Employment Law matters notably the annual date for minimum wage increases.
With effect from the 1st October 2008, the National Minimum Wage is to increase as follows:
1st OCTOBER 2008
Adult rate
£5.52 per hour
£5.73 per hour
Youth rate (18 - 21 or employees over 21 on an accredited training scheme)           
£4.60 per hour
£4.77 per hour
Rate for 16 and 17 year olds
£3.40 per hour
£3.53 per hour
As we are sure you all know, employers are required to insure against liability for injury or disease to their employees with failure to do so carrying a penalty of up to £2,500 for each day without cover. In addition, employers are required to display a copy of the insurance certificate with a penalty of up to £1,000 for failure to do so.
The Government say they wish to reduce the administrative burden on business. So from October employers will be able to display their Employer’s Liability Insurance Certificate on their Intranet system rather than having to hang framed certificates in every place of business.  There is a proviso though that all relevant employees to whom it relates must have reasonable access to it in that form.  This may prove advantageous to multi-site operations providing that your employees have easy access to the internal Intranet.
In the on-going battle in the European Court of Justice on the right of employers to require employees to retire at the age of 65, the Advocate-General has this week given his opinion.  The good news is that he supports UK law. The opinion of the Advocate-General is a strong indicator though whilst influential on the Judges hearing the case, is not unfortunately binding.  Age Concern’s challenge to the legislation could still therefore be successful.  The European Court of Justice are now to consider the case, the outcome of which is not expected until early 2009. 
Whilst it seems reasonable to conclude that the default retirement age of 65 will remain we will continue to monitor this and report as soon as the final outcome is known.
If you have any queries relating to the above or any other employment related matters do call us on 08456 446006.




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