2015 is another year of change in employment law and it pays to be prepared.
Key dates include: April 2015 – sickness and absence The Government is launching a health and work assessment and advisory service, which is ideal for employees who have been off sick for four weeks or more. It offers free occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. April 5 2015 Statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave will increase to £139.58 per week; Statutory sick pay (SSP) rate will increase to £88.45 per week.
What’s more, the right to unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 years. Also on April 5 2015 Adoption pay will be brought in line with maternity pay, which will be 90% of normal earning for the first six weeks, and there will no longer be a 26 week qualifying period. Adoption and fostering are key issues on which the Government will be challenged in the run up to the election, so it should come as no surprise that eligible 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. Both parents will also be entitled to take unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the woman carrying the child.
Other changes in the pipeline include modifications to unfair dismissal rules, where employees who are reservists will be exempted from the two year qualifying period before bringing a claim where the reason for dismissal is the employee’s reservists service.
If you have any specific queries relating to your business, we recommend calling the Acas hotline on 0300 123 1100