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Legislation update: What’s new and what’s coming into force?

New employment law changes that will impact your business activity

5 April 2015

Raft of family friendly changes came into force:

  • Introduction of a new system of shared parental leave for qualifying parents whose babies are due on or after 5 April 2015 (even if born earlier than this date) or to qualifying adoptive parents who have a child placed with them on or after this date.
  • Adopters will not be subject to the requirement to have 26 weeks service before they become entitled to take adoption leave.
  • Statutory adoption pay will be brought into line with statutory maternity pay, by the introduction of a six week pay period calculated at 90% of earnings.
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  • Adopters will be able to take time off to attend appointments to meet the child they intend to adopt. In joint adoptions, only one adopter is entitled to paid time off.
  • Provided they meet the eligibility criteria, parents who have a child through surrogacy will be permitted to take ordinary paternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay.
  • The right to take unpaid parental leave is extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 years.

6 April 2015

New statutory pay rates apply:

  • Statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave increased to £139.58 per week
  • Statutory sick pay rate increased to £88.45 per week
  • Increase in statutory maximum amounts for compensation where the dismissal or detriment that is being complained about takes place on or after 6 April:

Week’s pay – Increased to £475 (previously £464)
Maximum compensatory award – £78,335 (previously £76,574)

1 July 2015

  • Two year cap on back pay claims for holiday pay applied to claims lodged on or after 1 July 2015.

1 October 2015

Employment Tribunals will no longer be able to make recommendations requiring employers who lose discrimination claims to take steps to reduce the adverse effect of discrimination on its wider workforce (but they will still be able to make recommendations that affect the Claimant who has brought a claim).

National minimum wage rates increase:

  • Adult rate: £6.70 per hour (from £6.50) – From April 2016 this will only apply to 21-24 year olds
  • Rate for 18-20 year olds: £5.30 per hour (from £5.13)
  • Rate for 16-17 year olds £3.87 per hour (from £3.79)
  • Apprentices: £3.30 per hour (from £2.73)

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