Employment Help for the Very Busy – Spring Edition 2015
Welcome to another round-up of the latest legislative changes. This issue focuses on changes introduced by the Children and Families Act. If you find this information helpful, please feel free to pass on to others.
Rate Changes (6th April 2015)
Statutory Sick Pay increases from £87.55 to £88.45 per week.
Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay increases from £138.18 to £139.58 per week.
A week’s pay, used to calculate redundancy payments, increases from £464 to £475
The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases from £76,574 to £78,335
The national insurance exemption for employees under 21 comes into effect and applies to earnings up to the upper secondary threshold.
Kay’s comment: Also, to give you plenty of warning, the National Minimum Wage will increase in October from £6.50 to £6.70, but the living wage is currently £7.85 outside London.
Statutory Adoption Changes (6th April 2015)
Statutory Adoption no longer has a 26-week qualifying period and adoption pay has been brought in line with Maternity Pay, which is 90% of normal earning for the first six weeks. The primary adopter can take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments and the secondary adopter can take off up to two unpaid adoption appointments. In addition, protection against detriment and dismissal relating to attendance or likely attendance at adoption appointments also comes into force.
Kay’s comment: Please not that these changes also apply to intended parents in surrogacy and ‘foster to adopt’ arrangements.
Shared Parental Leave (6th April 2015)
Qualifying parents can choose how they share the care of their child during the first year after birth. Mothers will still take at least the initial two week following the birth, but following that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave.
Kay’s comment: Yes, the mechanics of operating Shared Parental Leave are a bit complicated, so please do read my FREE GUIDE: https://www.kayhealdhr.co.uk/hr-articles/hr-help-for-small-businesses/a-managers-guide-to-shared-parental-leave/
And let me know if you need any help!
Unpaid Parental Leave Extension (6th April 2015)
Unpaid Parental Leave rights have been extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 years.
Kay’s comment: The entitlement remains the same ie 18 weeks, but each parent can only take up to 4 weeks for each child in any one year, unless different arrangements are mutually agreed. It also needs to be taken as whole weeks, unless separately agreed, or if a child is disabled.
ANOTHER FREE RESOURCE
You may find this free ACAS guide on managing challenging conversations useful – it includes scenarios and practical tips: http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/0/d/Challenging-conversations-and-how-to-manage-them.pdf
Please Note: The information contained in this e-newsletter is provided for your general use only. It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.