08 April 2015

Spring Employment Law Changes

As spring finally arrives, April sees a number of changes in employment law take effect.

As spring finally arrives, April sees a number of changes in employment law take effect. As always, it is important that you remain up to date with any changes and how they may affect you and your employees.

The key changes are outlined below and, as ever, if you need any advice on the changes please do contact any of our employment law experts.

Shared parental leave

The new right to take shared parental leave will be available to parents of children due to be born or placed for adoption with them on or after 5 April 2015. So mothers can return to work prior to the end of the statutory maternity leave period and their partner can take the balance of leave. Employers need to note that employees can request to have discontinuous periods of leave (with blocks of work in between).

Adoption leave

With effect from 5 April, the requirement for 26 weeks’ service before employees become entitled to adoption leave is removed, and adoptive parents' rights are to mirror more closely those of mothers taking maternity leave.

Unpaid parental leave

Also with effect from 5 April, the current system of unpaid parental leave has been extended to parents of children up to age 18 (currently only parents of children up to the age of five can take the leave).

Changes to national insurance

From 6 April employers' national insurance will not be due in relation to those employees who are under the age of 21 up to the upper secondary threshold.

National minimum wage consolidation

On 6 April, Regulations came into effect which consolidate the national minimum wage legislation.

Annual rate increases

From 6 April the weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased to £139.58 with statutory sick pay now at £88.45 a week. A weeks pay for redundancy purposes has now increased to £475 and the cap on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal has risen to £78,335.

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