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2014 Employment Law Round Up

This year has seen some exciting developments in employment law. Some of the highlights that could have an impact on you and our employees are outlined below: –

–  Shared Parental Leave – Employees with at least 26 weeks service are able to take shared parental leave as an alternative to the full maternity leave entitlement. The changes apply to parents with babies due on or after 5 April 2015. We posted a blog earlier in the year about SPL

– Holiday pay – should it include commission and overtime? The Employment Tribunal recently ruled that overtime should have been included in the holiday pay calculation for an employee who regularly worked overtime. Previously, the UK rules on holiday pay said that voluntary overtime does not need to be taken into account for workers with set working hours. However, the Employment Tribunal ruled that overtime should be taken into account because, under European law, holiday pay should reflect what the employee would be paid if he or she were at work. The European Court of Justice has then ruled that holiday pay should also include commission where an employee’s commission makes up a substantial part of his or her pay. If you want some support on how these changes affect your holiday pay calculations then please give us a call today and watch out for our blogs as the issue is tested over the coming months.

– Employment Tribunals – from the 6th April 2014 there is a requirement for potential claimants to lodge details of their proposed employment tribunal claim with Acas in the first instance, whereupon Acas will offer the parties the opportunity to engage in conciliation with a conciliation officer. Statistics released since this scheme was introduced have shown a 24% drop in claims progressing to an employment tribunal.

– Flexible Working – from 30 June 2014 every employee has the statutory right to request flexible working after 26 weeks employment service.

– Statutory rates – the rate of statutory maternity pay, ordinary and additional statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay, and the standard rate of statutory sick pay, increased on 6 April 2014.

 

Looking forward 2015

– Our last blog covered various topics in the run up to the winter festive break, but look out for developments in 2015 as a petition submitted in July 2014 saw over 100,000 signatories asking for Eid and Diwali to be recognised as public holidays. This carries political support and is definitely one to watch for the future.

– Sickness absence – a new approach in managing sickness absence is to be introduced, offering free occupational health assistance to employees, employers and GPs, including an independent assessment of employees who have been off sick for four weeks. The Government has indicated that the new service may be delivered in spring 2015. Watch out for our blogs and newsletters that will provide more information and do not hesitate to contact Simple HR for any support or guidance on Managing Sickness and implementing or updating your policies.

– Paternity and Adoption Leave – will be amended and once in force employees will no longer require to have a qualifying length of service to take adoption leave and will have the right to time off to attend adoption appointments. This is scheduled for April 2015. Employers will need to be mindful that their policies are up-to-date and Simple HR can support this.

– Unpaid parental leave – the right to take unpaid parental leave will be extended to all parents of children up to the age of 18 years. Currently it is only available where the child is under the age of 5 or 18 if they are disabled.  This form of parental leave should not be confused with shared parental leave which is referred to above. This is due to come into force on 5 April 2015

If you have any questions, or concerns about the topics covered above please get in touch with a member of the SimpleHR team who will be happy to help, 01506 237753 or info@simplehr.co.uk

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