Employment Law Changes – Are you up to date?

A number of changes in Employment Law have come into effect this month – mainly focussed around parental leave. Are you up to date on these?

Changes which came into force on 5th April:

Parental Leave

  • An employee could be entitled to Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay if their baby is due on or after 5th April 2015 (or if they adopt a child after this date)
  • Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay must be taken between the baby’s birth and first birthday (or within a year of adoption)
  • They can start Shared Parental Leave if eligible and they or their partner end maternity or adoption leave or pay (or Maternity Allowance) early. The remaining leave will be available as Shared Parental Leave. The remaining weeks of pay will be available as Statutory Shared Parental Pay
  • The leave can be shared with their partner if they are also eligible for Shared Parental Leave, and choose how much time each of them will take off
  • Additional paternity leave and pay was abolished where the expected week of childbirth, or the date of the placement of the child for adoption, is on or after 5 April 2015
  • Adoption Leave and Pay Rights was extended to cover parents who have applied or intended to apply for a parental order in surrogacy arrangements and parents fostering a child under the Fostering for Adoption scheme. Shared Parental Leave was also allocated if the expected week of childbirth or placement of adoption date is on or after 5th April 2015
  • The 26-week qualifying service requirement for the entitlement to adoption leave was removed and there was an increase in Statutory Adoption Pay to 90% of normal earnings in the first six weeks. This brings it in line with the provisions on Statutory Maternity Pay
  • A new statutory right for both paid and unpaid leave for prospective adopters to attend pre-adoption appointments was introduced
  • The current unpaid parental leave regime  was extended to cover parents of children aged between five and eighteen years old
  • The standard weekly rates of Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Shared Parental Pay Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay increased from £138.18 to £139.58 per week

Other changes which came into force on 6th April: 

  • The index-linked increases to the limits applying to certain awards of employment tribunals and to other amounts payable under employment legislation came into force
  • The maximum amount of week’s pay for the purposes of calculating Statutory Redundancy Payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal will increase from £464 to £475
  • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increased from £76,574 to £78,335 for those cases where this exceeds the equivalent of one year’s salary
  • The limit on the daily amount of statutory guarantee pay increased from £25.00 to £26.00
  • The standard weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay increased from £87.55 to £88.45 per week
  • The existing National Minimum Wage legislation was simplified in a single piece of legislation – The NMW Regulations 2015

Source: Candor.co.uk 

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