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By Rick Vollmar
March 30—New national minimum wage guidance effective April 6 merges a number of amendments into a single set of regulations in an effort to clarify the minimum wage regulations, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills announced in a March 27 release, part of the larger Red Tape Challenge initiative to make it simpler for businesses to understand their legal obligations.
The National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 have been amended over 20 times, including annual changes to minimum wage rates and more substantial changes regarding exemptions to the minimum wage requirement and the definition of hours worked.
The regulations now group topics together, BIS noted in its release, so that, for example, all exclusions from the NMW sit together, whereas previously rules were scattered across a number of disparate regulations. The majority of respondents to a July 2014 consultation welcomed this consolidation as a means to make the detailed rules clearer and more workable. Respondents noted that even further clarity would be welcome, particularly through government guidance, and BIS has committed itself to revisiting the guidance and publishing more practical examples to provide further clarity where necessary.
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The BIS press release is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-minimum-wage-regulations-amended-as-part-of-governments-red-tape-challenge, the amended guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/calculating-the-minimum-wage.
For more information on British HR law and regulation, see the U.K. primer.
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