Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:10 Mar 2016 Last Updated:10 Apr 2021

What employment law changes are on the horizon?

Employment Law Advice

Significant changes in employment law usually occur in April and October of each year. With April fast approaching I thought it might be helpful to provide a summary of the upcoming changes:

5th April 2015

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption rates to increase from £138.18 to £139.58 per week.

Shared parental leave will take full effect for babies whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5th April and adoption placements from 5th April.

Additional statutory paternity pay will be abolished.

You currently need to have 26 weeks’ service to be eligible for adoption leave however from 5th April continuous service will no longer be required.

Ordinary parental leave currently gives employees with children under 5, and with more than one years’ service, the right to take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave. From 5th April the age limit will extend to the child’s 18th birthday.

Time off to attend adoption appointments. Subject to eligibility, the main adopter will be entitled to take unpaid time off to attend up to five adoption appointments and then secondary adopter will be entitled to attend up to two appointments from 5th April.

6th April 2015

Statutory sick pay to increase from £87.55 to £88.45 per week.

Surrogate parents will be eligible to take unpaid leave to attend 2 antenatal appointments with the woman carrying their child from 6th April.

On 6th April the maximum compensation for unfair dismissal awards will increase from £76,574 to £78,335 (or 52 weeks’ gross pay if lower) and the cap on a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating redundancy payments and awards for basic unfair dismissal claims will increase from £464 to £475.

May 2015

Fit For Work serviceThe Fit For Work service should be fully operational by May 2015. This is designed to assist sickness absence management for employees with absences exceeding 4 weeks. Employers should consider updating their sickness absence policies to include this.

July 2015

A two-year cap will apply to most backdated claims for unlawful deduction from wages lodged on or after 1st July.

October 2015

National Minimum Wage may be increased in October 2015.

If you would like any further advice on the above please contact me at kate.brooks@ellisjones.co.uk.