Employment Legislation Update – Spring 2014

 A number of changes in employment legislation that have taken place already in 2014. Details of those particularly relevant to employers are set out below. The announcement included the launch of a number of consultations on further proposed regulatory changes. A summary of these changes can be found below:

7th March 2014

  • Penalty for non-payment of minimum wage - the penalty for not paying minimum wage rose from £5k to £20k maximum.

6 April 2014

  • Power of Employment Tribunals to impose financial penalties on employers - Where there are aggravating features such as unreasonable behaviour, negligence or malice, tribunals the Employment Tribunal will have the power to order an employer who has lost a case, to pay to the Secretary of State a financial penalty from £100 up to £5,000. This will be imposed where an employer has breached any of the workers rights and the breach has one or more aggravating features.
  • Early conciliation to come into force - With effect from April 2014 all claimants, where conciliation is offered, need to have notified ACAS first – before lodging a claim to the Tribunal, The claimant can proceed to lodge a tribunal claim if conciliation is unsuccessful within the set period.
  • Statutory weeks redundancy pay - The rate increased to £464.00.
  • Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase - The pay rate of statutory maternity, paternity and adoption increased to £138.18.
  • Statutory sick pay - this rose from £86.70 per week to £87.55
  • Changes to tax thresholds comes into force - Income tax personal allowance increased to £10,000

1 May 2014

  • Change to TUPE regulations - An additional change has been made as scheduled. Required from May 1st was that any transfers taking place must include ‘Employee Liability Information’ given at least 28 days prior to any transfer; the previous time period was 14 days.

30 June 2014 

  • Flexible workingWith effect from 30th June 2014 Government proposals are set to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and remove the current statutory procedure for considering requests. In its place employers will be required to consider all reasonable requests – though employers will be able to refuse requests on business grounds.

1 October 2014 

  • Fathers right to time off for antenatal appointmentsUnder the Children and Families Act 2014 fathers-to-be and partners of pregnant women are permitted to take time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the expectant mother.

April 2015

  • Flexible parental leave – under a new system, for parents of children born or matched for adoption on or after 5 April, parents will be entitled to choose how they share childcare arrangements during the first year after birth. Mothers will still be able to take at least the initial two week period off following the birth; after that time they can decide to end the maternity leave period with the parents opting to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave. This new, shared parental leave also proposes to allow the husband, civil partner or partner of the pregnant women permitted to unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments.

From 2015

  • Parental Leave - Unpaid parental leave will be extended to the parents of any child under the age of 18 years.
  • Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave - Parents who have a child through surrogacy (provided they meet the eligibility criteria) will be permitted to take ordinary paternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay. In addition parents will be entitled to take unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the woman carrying the child.
  • School leaving age – rises to 18

TBA – managing sickness absence  

 

For further advice and clarification please contact the Triangle HR team on 01743 444007.