Straightforward advice on legislation changes

With the national minimum wage (NMW) set to increase on 1 October 2009, Invest Northern Ireland’s website has been updated to provide details of the change and advice on how it should be implemented.

The NMW will rise to £5.80 an hour for workers aged 22 and above and to £4.83 an hour to workers aged 18-21. The rate for those under 18 but above compulsory school age rises to £3.57 an hour. Tips paid to a worker through the employer's payroll will no longer count towards it.

Shauna Fenton, Head of the team in Invest NI, says: “We are urging all businesses to look at our site and check whether coming changes could affect their business. To secure peace of mind for the future, they can sign up to the free alert service so that they are automatically advised of changes to legislation every time. Adapting to laws after they have taken effect is often more expensive and always more stressful, so planning in advance is the best course of action.”

Most changes to legislation that affect businesses are coordinated to occur twice a year, on 1 October and 6 April. These dates are known as Common Commencement Dates. Other changes coming into effect include:  

  • The merger of Companies Registry in Northern Ireland with Companies House will mean that there will be a single register of companies for the entire UK. As a result, companies incorporated in Northern Ireland wishing to establish a place of business elsewhere in the UK will no longer have to register as an overseas company.

  • It will become mandatory for cigarette retailers to sell cigarette packets with picture warnings. is the most comprehensive free source of online business advice in Northern Ireland.