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01 October 2009 New legislation

1 October 2009

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

Increases in the hourly rates of the NMW will take effect on 1 October 2009. These will be:

· Standard (adult) rate: £5.80 (rising from £5.73).

· Development rate: £4.83 (rising from £4.77).

· Young workers rate: £3.57 (rising from £3.53).

· Accommodation offset rate: £4.51 (rising from £4.46).

Prohibition on using tips for NMW

From 1 October 2009, employers will be prohibited from counting service charges, tips and gratuities processed through their payrolls towards the payment of the NMW (The National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/1902)). BIS is currently working on a new industry code of best practice.

Maximum limit of a week’s pay

The The Work and Families (Increase of Maximum Amount) Order (SI 2009/1903) will come into force on 1 October 2009. The Order will increase the maximum limit of a week’s pay from £350 to £380 which will then remain unchanged until February 2011. The increase in the limit will affect all compensation payments to which the week’s pay limit is relevant. Supreme Court Rules 2009 The Supreme Court will replace the House of Lords as the highest appeal court in the UK from 1 October 2009. The Supreme Court Rules 2009 (SI 2009/1603) will come into force on the same date and will govern the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court. The Rules will apply to appeals which were proceeding, and petitions for leave which were lodged in the House of Lords before 1 October 2009.

The European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment) Regulations 2009

The European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (with accompanying explanatory memorandum will come into force on 1 October 2009. The Regulations amend the European Public Limited-Liability Company Regulations 2004 to reflect the changes made in company law by the Companies Act 2006 and in particular by section 1285 of the Companies Act 2006, which extends the 2004 Regulations to Northern Ireland. For further background on the 2004 Regulations. Part 3 of the 2004 Regulations contain provisions regarding employee involvement provisions for European public companies. The employee involvement provisions for Great Britain and Northern Ireland differ as they refer to different legislation and institutions. Therefore, in order to preserve the two regimes, the provisions relating to employee involvement in European public companies are now covered by two new regulations, the European Public Limited-Liability Company (Employee Involvement) (Great Britain) Regulations 2009 and the European Public Limited-Liability Company (Employee Involvement) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2009 which will both come into force on 1 October 2009.

Amendment to Information Commissioner’s notification fees

The Data Protection (Notification and Notification Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/1677) come into force on 1 October 2009. The Regulations introduce a new fee structure for notification to the Information Commissioner’s office by data controllers under the Data Protection Act 1998. The current flat fee of £35 will be replaced with a two tier structure as follows:

· For a data controller in tier 1 the fee will be £35.

· For a data controller in tier 2 the fee will be £500.

5 October 2009

Points-based immigration: Phase 3 of Tier 4

The UK Border Agency has confirmed that phase 3 of Tier 4 of the points based immigration system will launch on 5 October 2009. Phase 3 concerns the voluntary trial period of the sponsorship management of Tier 4 sponsors, which allows them to continue using visa letters to issue confirmation of acceptance for studies until February 2010.

12 October 2009

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults: vetting and barring

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 established the Independent Barring Board which has introduced a centralised vetting and barring system for people working with children and vulnerable adults. This will come into force on 12 October 2009 when the three current barring lists (POCA, POVA and List 99) will be replaced by two new lists; the “childrens” and “vulnerable adults” barring lists. Information from these will only be accessible by an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. Also with effect from 12 October 2009 the purposes for which an enhanced CRB check can be requested will be extended by the The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (No. 2) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/1882)to cover those carrying out regulated activities as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.