HR Legislative Changes Applicable to GP Practices

There are a number of legislative changes relevant to GP practices that are set out below and are immediately applicable.

If you have any questions regarding HR, be it contracts, handbooks, performance management, retirement issues etc. – then please feel free to call GP Care HR Consultancy Lead on 0333 332 2100.

National Minimum Wage
The new rates and age bands for the national minimum wage are as follows:
• £5.93 - the new rate for workers aged 21 and over (previously £5.80 and for employees aged 22 and over)
• £4.92 - the new rate for 18-20 year olds (previously £4.83 and for employees aged 18-21)
• £3.64 - the new rate for 16-17 year olds (previously £3.57)

A new national minimum wage of £2.50 per hour for apprentices who are either under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship has also been introduced.

The Equality Act 2010
Previously discrimination legislation was under nine separate pieces of legislation e.g. Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 etc. These have now been brought together under one new piece of legislation which still covers the same following protected characteristics:
• age;
• disability;
• gender reassignment;
• marriage and civil partnership;
• pregnancy and maternity;
• race;
• religion or belief;
• sex;
• sexual orientation.

The changes for you to be aware of are:
• The concept of associative discrimination is broadened so that you cannot discriminate against someone because they have an association with anyone who has one or more of the above protected characteristics e.g. would be illegal to discriminate against a non-disabled employee because of action they need to take to care for a disabled dependant;
• The concept of perceptive discrimination is broadened so that you cannot discriminate against a person if you think they possess any of the protected characteristics, even if they do not in fact possess any e.g. would be illegal to discriminate against an employee if it was thought they were of a particular religious affiliation, even though that thought was incorrect;
• Pre-employment health questions may not be asked, so pre-employment health questionnaires should not be sent out in blanket manner and specifically tailored health questions can only be asked of individuals if the reason is due to one of the following:
1. To make suitable arrangements for interview or selection;
2. For the purposes of equality and diversity monitoring;
3. For a genuine, job-related, reason;
4. To take positive action;
5. To assure the employer that a candidate has a disability where the job genuinely requires the jobholder to have a disability;
• Any clauses in an employment contract that require the employee to maintain pay/bonus secrecy will be unenforceable and should be removed.

Questions or advice
If you have any questions regarding HR then please contact for a free discussion either via email at info@gpcare.org.uk or via phone on 0333 332 2100.

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