October 2015; changes in the UK legislation
DENTAL BULLETIN, ISSUE 7
In this Dental Bulletin we summarise some important changes in UK legislation, which may have an impact on you and your Practice.
From 1st October 2015 the following legal changes in the UK legislation will come into force:
- The National Minimum Wage: this will increase from £6.50 to £6.70 for those over 21 years of age; for employees who are aged 18 to 21 the rate will increase from £5.13 to £5.50; Employees under 18 will see an increase in their hourly rate from £3.79 to £3.87; and finally the apprentice rate will increase from £2.73 to £3.30. In relation to apprentices, please note that this rate only applies if the apprentice is under 19 years of age or in their first year of apprenticeship. This means that salaries and all other associated benefits, such as holiday and sick pay must be amended from this date. Failure to do so could result in a claim by an employee for unauthorised deduction from wages;
- The Consumer Rights Act 2015: the Act aims to consolidate existing UK consumer legislation but will also introduce new provisions relating to statutory remedies for defective goods and services. See below for our full analysis on how the changes will effect dentists;
- Businesses, including Partnerships, with a turnover of £36 million or more will be required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement every year. Whilst this will not directly affect small to medium sizes businesses, we consider there may be an indirect effect on them.
- The right for Sikhs to wear a turban instead of a safety helmet will be extended to all work places, with some exceptions applying in relation to military and emergency services. Prior to these changes, Sikhs were exempt from wearing head protection in the construction industry but, because of legal loophole, they were not in less dangerous occupations such as factories. This meant Sikhs could face disciplinary action or dismissal for refusing to wear a safety helmet. In terms of medical treatments, there is no reason why a turban cannot be worn, if covered by a surgical head cover in the normal way it poses no health and safety risk.
Consumer Rights Act 2015; How will it affect Dentists?
- That the services will be provided with reasonable skill and care;
- The services will be performed in line with the information provided about the service and in line with information provided about the dentist;
- That a reasonable price will be paid for the services;
- That the services will be performed in a reasonable time.
Provision of information to consumers
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.