Recent Employment Law Changes
As today, 6th April 2015, marks the Spring Common Commencement Date, employers should be aware of a number of changes to employment law which have now come into effect. These include:
- Increasing the rate of statutory sick pay from £87.55 per week to £88.45 per week;
- Increasing the rate of statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional paternity pay and adoption pay from £138.18 per week to £139.58 per week;
- Introducing the new statutory shared parental leave pay at the rate of £139.58 per week;
- Increasing the statutory limit on the amount of a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating compensation (ie statutory redundancy payments and the basic award for unfair dismissal) from £464 to £475; and
- Increasing the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal from £76, 574 to £78,335, or one year’s salary if this is less than the statutory maximum.
Also, employers should be aware that parents of children born or adopted on or after 5th April 2015 may now be entitled to participate in shared parental leave. This will allow parents to share the balance of the mother’s maternity leave which may be curtailed after the second week of leave so that the remaining 50 weeks may be shared between the parents and taken concurrently or consecutively, in continuous or split blocks, within the first year of the child’s birth or adoption. The eligibility criteria for shared parental leave and shared parental leave pay differ, however, ACAS have published a helpful practice guide which explains the new system and how it may be operated in practice.