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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 law Launch 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 Bulletin 30.9.14