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Employment law undergoes radical changes

October 2012 saw the introduction of a number of significant changes to employment legislation, including radical changes to the pension system.

From 1 October, the new pension auto-enrolment system came into effect, imposing a duty on employers to enrol all eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme.

The new regime will be introduced in stages, beginning with the largest employers. Smaller businesses will be required to comply by 2018.

1 October also saw the introduction of the new Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, from the Health and Safety Executive.

Under FFI, costs for investigating and enforcing health and safety law will be recovered from those businesses and organisations which are found to be in material breach of the law.

An increase in the National Minimum Wage also took effect on 1 October, with the main adult rate rising from £6.08 to £6.19 per hour. The apprentice rate also increased, from £2.60 to £2.65 per hour.