Acas uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience and to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies.

Website URL :

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

Early conciliation to come into force

From April 2014 before lodging a claim to the Tribunal all claimants will need to notify Acas first, where conciliation will be offered. If conciliation is unsuccessful within the set period the claimant can proceed to lodge a tribunal claim.

6 April 2014

Power of Employment Tribunal to impose Financial Penalties on employers

The Employment Tribunal will have the power to order an employer who has lost a case to pay a financial penalty to the Secretary of State of between £100 and £5,000. The penalty will be imposed where the employer has breached any of the workers rights and the breach has one or more aggravating features.

6 April 2014

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase

The rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption rate will increase to £138.18.

6 April 2014

Statutory Weeks Redundancy pay

The rate will increase to £464

6 April 2014

Changes to Tax and thresholds comes into force

An increase in the income tax personal allowance to £10,000

6 April 2014

Flexible working

The Government proposes to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and remove the current statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner; employers will have the right to refuse requests on business grounds.

30 June

Managing sickness absence

A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced, offering free 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.

To be confirmed

Fathers right to time off for antenatal appointments

The Children and families Act allows fathers to be and partners of pregnant women, to take time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the expectant mother.

1 October 2014

Flexible parental leave

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

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 ante-natal appointments.

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.


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.


School leaving age to rise to 18


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.

Some feedback about our Helpline from users:

"Acas is invaluable. We have had lots of HR issues and nobody else to ask."

"Everything that I have asked Acas on the Helpline, they have informed us correctly and in full."

Helpline number: 0300 123 1100
Monday-Friday: 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm

View further information about our Helpline service, including our new Helpline Online on the Acas Helpline page.

Acas Conference - The Changing Face of Employment Relations
TUPE 2014 - Practical training on what's changed
Acas Helpline - call us for free advice on 0300 123 1100