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Minimum wage to go up in October

In October, the national minimum wage will rise by 15p an hour to £6.08 , benefiting almost 1million workers, the Government has announced. The Telegraph reported this story.

Ministers have accepted recommendations made by the Low Pay Commission, giving adult workers a new rate of £6.08. The youth minimum wage, which applies to 18 to 20-year olds, will also increase by 6p to £4.98 per hour.

The new apprenticeship minimum wage will be increased by 10p to £2.60 an hour, while the rate for 16 to 17-year olds will go up by 4p, to reach £3.68 an hour.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “More than 890,000 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers will gain from these changes. They are appropriate, reflecting the current economic uncertainty while at the same time protecting the UK’s lowest-paid workers.”

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Google HR responsibilities given to Patrick Pichette

In addition to streamlining his product team, Google CEO Larry Page made some changes on the business operations side in his first week back on the job.

SVP and CFO Patrick Pichette now has added business operations and human resources to his duties, according to several sources.

Until now, business operations has been managed by Shona Brown, who had also once run “People Operations,” as human resources is called at Google.

More recently, HR has been run by VP Laszlo Bock, who initially reported to Brown and later directly to former CEO Eric Schmidt.

He will now report to Pichette, sources said.

Read the full story from All things Digital.

Employment law changes

It’s the first week of April which can only mean one thing. All the employment laws which businesses have been warning against for months are finally coming into effect, reports the Telegraph.

Even during the boom years, employers struggled to keep up with the reams of legislation forced upon them by Whitehall. But during this era of austerity, employers claim the new rules will scupper growth and job creation.

It seems a fair argument. By the end of tomorrow, employers will no longer be able to make anyone retire who hasn’t already been issued a retirement notice. They won’t even be able to ask someone approaching 65 if they are planning to leave, because it could be deemed ageist.

A stack of other law changes will see fathers get the right to take six months off work to look after their kids, and businesses forced to pay the extra 1pc in National Insurance Contributions (NICs), estimated to cost £1.2bn a year.

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New state pension plan with flat-rate

Details of a new flat-rate state pension expected to be worth £155-a-week will be unveiled later, reports the BBC.

It will replace existing means-tested arrangements for new, but not existing, pensioners from 2015 or 2016.

The current full state pension is £97.65-a-week, but can be topped up to £132.60 with pension credit.

This is to be replaced by a new £140 flat rate, with inflation expected to push this up to £155 by the time it comes into effect.

“Tomorrow’s pensioners do face a very different world,” said Pensions Minister Steve Webb.

“They will, on average, be working for a lot longer, they will be retired for longer, they will not on the whole have final salary guaranteed pensions in the way that perhaps their parents did.

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No day off for the royal wedding?

Unions are accusing some employers of being spoilsports for refusing to treat the forthcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton as a bank holiday and give employees the day off, reports the telegraph.

The GMB union is asking two companies, Lancashire-based Interfloor, which employs 400, and concrete product manufacturer CPM, with a staff of 330, to “think again” after the companies told employees that Friday, April 29 will be treated as a normal working day.

Both say that anyone wanting the day off would have to use their holiday entitlement. Alana Armstrong, GMB northwest regional official, has accused Interfloor of adopting a “bah humbug” attitude and asked the company to offer double pay as a “goodwill gesture”.

Phil Reeder, Interfloor chairman refused to comment but Nick Gainsford, a CPM director, said the company could not afford to give its employees a day off and lose output worth £50,000 a day after sending staff home for a month on full pay during the “Arctic weather” spell in December.

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