Employment law update for April 2015

You may well have seen the changes to parental leave reported in the news recently but there are also several other key changes to employment law which come into force this month.  The article summarises the key changes:

Shared parental leave

On 5 April 2015, a new system became available to parents of children either born to or placed for adoption with them on or after that date. Those eligible employees will be entitled to up to 52 weeks’ leave and 39 weeks’ statutory pay which can be shared between the child’s parents.

Unpaid parental leave

On the same day, the age of a child up to which parental leave may be taken increased from 5 to 18 years’ old.

Adoption rights

Also from 5 April 2015, it is no longer the case that employees need 26 weeks’ continuous service to qualify for adoption leave and statutory adoption pay has now been brought into line with statutory maternity pay. The law now also protects adopters against suffering a detriment or dismissal for exercising the right to attend adoption appointments. Current rights of adopters have also been extended to those adopting a child from outside the UK and those fostering as part of a Fostering for Adoption placement.

False self-employment

On 6 April, amended record keeping, returns and penalties provisions intended to combat false self employment through service companies came into force.

National Minimum Wage

Also on 6 April 2015, the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 came into force.  Whilst these regulations do not make any major changes to the current law, they have consolidated the existing regulations and subsequent amendments into one piece of legislation and simplified the drafting and clarity this area. 

It has already been announced in March that the National Minimum Wage is set to rise to £6.70 per hour for those over the age of 21 in October 2015.

Should you require advice in respect of the above changes, please do not hesitate to contact a member of Fraser Brown’s employment team on 0115 9888 777.

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