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Employment Law update

The Government has announced several proposed changes to employment law. It has also launched a number of consultations on further proposed changes. A round up of these changes is listed below to help people understand them and their potential impact.

Employment Law updates timetable

Proposed changes to employment law Launch date
National Minimum Wage increase£6.50 for workers 21 and over
£5.13 for workers 18-20 yrs
£3.79 for 16-17 yrs olds
£2.73 for apprentices under 19 or 19 and over who are in the first year of apprenticeship
1 October 2014
Right to time off for antenatal appointmentsA husband, civil partner or partner of a pregnant women has the right to unpaid time off to attend up to 2 ante-natal appointments. 1 October 2014
Shared Parental Leave

For parents of children born or matched for adoption on or after 5 April 2015

Under this new system parents will be able to 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, following that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave. Also under this new shared parental leave it is proposed to allow the husband, civil partner or partner of the pregnant women the right to unpaid time off to attend up to 2 antenatal appointments.

1 December 2014
Managing sickness absence

A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced, offering fee occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. The service can provide an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence. Further information is available from GOV.UK – Government response to the review of the sickness absence system in Great Britain.

April 2015
Statutory adoption leave and pay

The statutory adoption leave will no longer have the 26- week qualifying period, and adoption pay will be brought in line with maternity pay, which will be 90% of normal earning for the first six weeks.

5 April 2015
Parental Leave extended to 18

The right to unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 years.

5 April 2015
Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave

Provided they meet the eligibility criteria 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.

April 2015
Exemption for Reservists from two year qualifying period for unfair dismissalEmployees who are reservists will be exempted from the two year qualifying period for bring an unfair dismissal claim where the reason for dismissal is the employee’s reservists service. To be confirmed
All young people to be in education or training until the age of 18 (England) 2015
Upper age limit for jury service is increased

The upper age limit for jury service will increase from 70 to 75 (England and Wales)

To be announce

FOR UP TO DATE NEWS ON CHANGES GO TO  ACAS LINK: – Up to date information and advice on work problems.

And remember, if you don’t know where to turn, or you need clarification on your rights in a situation, contact the branch secretary.


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