Spring is here and the daffodils are out, well mostly. It’s that time of year again for the legislative changes. The implementation of shared parental leave and pay is by far the most complex change this year but there are a few more statutory changes to look out for in April.
Shared parental leave and pay begins
Providing greater flexibility in how parents share the care of their child in its first year. It will be available to couples with a baby due, or children placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015.
Statutory adoption leave and pay
From the 6th April 2015 there are a few changes to the adoption leave and pay. The 26-week qualifying period to be eligible to take adoption leave will be removed, bringing it into line with the eligibility requirements for maternity leave. Statutory adoption pay will also be brought into line with statutory maternity pay by setting it at 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks.
Surrogate parents will also become eligible for adoption leave. The leave will be available to employees who are, or expect to be, the parents of a child under a parental order, where the child’s expected week of birth begins on or after 5 April 2015.
There is also a new right for local authority parents who are prospective adopters to take adoption leave.
Lastly but by no means least there is a new right to attend adoption appointments. The main adopter will be able to take time off to attend up to five, while the secondary adopter will be entitled to take time off for up to two such appointments.
Important to note that shared parental leave is unrelated to parental leave which is the statutory right to a period of unpaid leave that may be taken by a parent during the first five years of the child’s life.
From 6th April 2015, the age limit for the child will increase from five to 18 years. Parents with sufficient qualifying service will have the right to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave up to the child’s 18th birthday.
Defined-contribution pension schemes
There will be the removal of certain restrictions in respect of how individuals can draw their benefits from their defined-contribution pension pots after age 55, from April 2015.
Statutory maternity pay, ordinary paternity pay and adoption pay increase
The rates of statutory maternity, ordinary statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay will increase on 6th April 2015 to £138.58.
Statutory sick pay increases
The standard rate of statutory sick pay increases on 6th April 2015 to £88.45.
National minimum wage rates
As detailed in our blog this week the NMW rates will increase in October 2015 as follows: –
– £6.70 for workers 21 and over
– £5.30 18 – 20 yrs
– £3.87 for 16-17 yrs, who are above school leaving age but under 18
– £3.30 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship
New limit for redundancy pay
From the 6th April 2015 the limit for a week’s pay when calculating redundancy pay will increase to £475.
New compensation limits for employment tribunal awards
The limit for a week’s pay will increase to £475 when calculating compensation for basic unfair dismissal. The maximum compensation amount will increase to £78,335.
If you require any guidance or support on any of the above please don’t hesitate to contact the Simple HR office.