A number of employment law changes have taken effect from last week.

The minimum wage increased and the Agency Workers Regulations took effect from saturday.

The new minimum wage rates in the UK will be as follows:

* £6.08 an hour for workers aged 21 and above
* £4.98 an hour for workers aged 18-20
* £3.68 an hour for workers aged below 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age

In addition businesses will have to pay at least £2.60 an hour to apprentices who are:

* under the age of 19
* aged 19 or over and in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship

The agricultural minimum wage will also go up within specific grades.

Agency workers who work in the same role with the same hirer for 12 continuous calendar weeks will be entitled to the same basic employment and working conditions as employees in comparable roles. The new rules apply to temporary assignments starting on or after 1 October 2011.