Employment Law Changes in April 2015

There are a number of key changes that come into force on 5 April 2015 that employers need to be ready for. We have summarised these changes below:

  1. Shared Parental Leave

Shared parental leave will be available in respect of children who are due to be born on or after 5 April 2015, or who are placed for adoption on or after that date.

Eligible employees will be entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks leave and 39 weeks statutory pay upon the birth or adoption of a child, which can be shared between the parents.

  1. Adoption

Adoption rights will become closer aligned with maternity rights as follows:

  • The requirement to have 26 weeks’ service before employees become entitled to adoption leave will be removed.
  • Statutory adoption pay will be brought into line with statutory maternity pay by the introduction of a 6 week period at 90% of average earnings.
  • The right to paid and unpaid time off to attend adoption appointments will come into force together with protection against suffering a detriment or being dismissed in relation to exercising that right. Adopters will be entitled to a maximum of up to 6.5 hours for each appointment.

Adoption rights to adoption leave will also be extended to individuals fostering a child under the “Fostering for Adoption” scheme run by local authorities.

  1. Unpaid parental leave

The age of a child up to which unpaid parental leave may be taken will be increased from the child’s 5th birthday up to the child’s 18th birthday.

  1. Statutory Maternity Pay, Adoption Pay, Paternity Pay and Shared Parental Pay

Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay (Ordinary and Additional) and the newly introduced Statutory Shared Parental Pay will increase to £139.58 per week.

In addition on the 6 April 2015 the following changes will come into effect:

  1. Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £87.55 to £88.45 per week.

  1. Maximum Compensatory Award

The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will be increased to £78,335 (or 52 weeks’ pay if lower).

  1. Statutory Week’s Pay

The maximum amount of a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy payments and the basic award in unfair dismissal claims will increase from £464 to £475.

For more information on any of the above changes please contact a member of the Employment Team.


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