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Employment law update

Acas are the employment relations experts and a trusted source of advice for employers, employees, Government and others.

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 lawLaunch date

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

New statutory pay rates

Statutory pay for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave will increase to £139.56 per week.

Statutory sick pay (SSP) rate will increase to £88.45 per week.

5 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 dismissal

Employees 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 announced

Acas employment law update training

View course listings, dates and locations available for Acas employment law update training, providing managers and HR professionals with essential information on recent and upcoming change.

Whether you are an employer, employee or representative, you can call the national Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free and impartial advice from Monday to Friday, 8am - 8pm and Saturday, 9am - 1pm.

Acas provides Training and Business Solutions to equip managers, supervisors and HR professionals with the necessary skills to deal with employment relations issues and to create more productive workplace environments.

Acas Helpline

Call our Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for free support and advice or to check your workplace policies and practices. The Acas Helpline provides free and impartial advice for employers, employees and representatives on a range of employment relations, employment rights, HR and management issues.

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TUPE 2014 - Practical training on what's changed