In October

  • National Minimum Wage rates increased from 1 October: the standard adult rate to £6.31, the development rate for those age 18-20 to £5.03, the young workers rate for those age 16-17 to £3.72, and the apprentice rate to £2.68.
  • The third party harassment provisions of the Equality Act 2012 were repealed – from 1 October.
  • Further changes to immigration rules come into effect.

The Border Agency have announced a number of changes to the Immigration Rules that came into effect 1st October 2013.

The changes offer greater flexibility for businesses and workers and include:

  • removing the English language requirement for intra-company transferees;
  • making it easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch into Tier 2;
  • waiving share ownership restrictions for some senior staff; and
  • allowing some students to work as interns under the Tier 5 government authorised exchange scheme.

Tourist and business visitors will benefit from the following changes:

  • Allowing tourists and business visitors to do some study where it is not the main purpose of their visit.
  • Expanding the activities a business visitor can do in the UK.
  • Removing the prospective student route.

Further changes affect points-based system and family route applications.  As always these are never straight forward .  For full details of the changes see the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 628). The written ministerial statement can be found on Gov.uk.

Actions you should have taken already include:

  • Settlement agreements: Employers should review their policies and procedures relating to settlement agreements, ensuring that they comply with the Acas Code of Practice.
  • Whistleblowing: Employers will need to amend their whistleblowing policies to reflect the changes set out above.
  • Dismissal relating to political reasons: Employers are recommended to ensure that line managers understand the revised rules relating to dismissals that are related to political beliefs or affiliations.
  • Third party harassment: Employers will need to amend their policies to reflect the deletion of this concept.
  • Discrimination questionnaires: Employers will need to amend their policies to reflect the removal of the questionnaire procedure. The new procedure that is still to be set out by the government will need to be inserted into the policy.
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