Jan - Mar 09 News

March 2009

Minimum Wage Records - 13th Jan 2009

Section 10 of the Employment Act 2008 has made a minor amendment to the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. Enforcement officers have previously had the power to inspect and make copies of employer records. This power has been extended to allow the removal of the records for the purposes of taking a copy, provided such records are returned as soon as reasonably practical.

Minimum Wage for Volunteers - 13th Jan 2009

Section 14 of the Employment Act 2008 makes a minor amendment regarding expenses that can be paid to voluntary workers without such volunteers becoming workers who qualify for the national minimum wage. Reimbursement of expenses that are reasonably incurred in enabling the volunteer to perform his/her duties will be allowable.

Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 - 16th Jan 2009

This new Act will increase penalties and provide courts with greater sentencing powers for those who break health and safety law.

Lower courts have the power to impose higher fines for some health and safety offences (maximum penalties which lower courts can impose will increase from £5,000 to £20,000): Imprisonment will be an option for more health and safety offences in both the lower and higher courts: And, certain offences, which are currently triable only in the lower courts, will be triable in either the lower or higher courts.

New Tribunal Award Limits - 1st Feb 2009

The Employment Rights (Increase in Limits) Order 2008 has increased the maximum compensation limits for unfair dismissal at Employment Tribunal as follows:

Weeks Pay (maximum entitlement for compensation purposes) £350 (from £330)
- Basic Award £10500 (from £9,900)
- Compensatory Award £66200 (from £63,000)
- Discrimination claims No limit
- Wrongful refusal of flexible working request £2800

New Points-based Immigration System - 31st March 2009

Tier four of the new points-based immigration system, covering students, implemented at the end of March.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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