As businesses head into a fresh new year and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, it is important to be aware of the current employment law and how it may affect your employees. Employers will be responsible for updating their documentation and contracts in line with the employment law. There are a lot of changes for 2015 and some of these are quite complex. Specifically, there are a lot more benefits available to those who are planning to adopt a child in 2015.
National Minimum Wage
Employers should be aware of the forthcoming national minimum wage increase due to commence from 1st October 2015. The rates have not been determined yet but recommendations will be due for submission in February. Employers should take this into account when budgeting in 2015.
Statutory Pay Rates
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption rates are due to increase on April 2015. The rates are currently £138.18 and will rise to £139.58 per week.
Statutory Sick Pay
The statutory sick pay will also increase from April 2015. The current rate per week is £87.55 and it will increase to £88.45.
Shared Parental Leave and Pay
Parents who are expecting a baby to be born from 5 April 2015 or will be adopting a child on or after this date, will be entitled to shared parental leave and pay. This means that both parties will be able to share the maternity leave and where applicable, the maternity pay.
Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay
The eligibility for adoption leave and pay will be in line with maternity leave in 2015. This means that the 26 week qualifying period will no longer exist and statutory adoption pay will also be in line with maternity pay. Adoption leave will also be available for surrogate parents. This new law applies to those adopting/having children on or after April 2015.
In 2015, there will be new rights for adopters to attend appointments relating to adoption. The main person adopting will be able to attend five meetings.
There are many changes to take into consideration for employers over the next year and it is important to ensure that all documentation reflects this. Employers should also be prepared to answer any questions regarding the employment law and how it may affect employees.