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Hewett Legal Corner - April 2015 #32

April sees a number of changes in Employment Law coming into force.  In this edition of our Hewett Legal Corner, Sally Morris - Partner and Head of Employment Law at mfg Solicitors offers an update around some of key changes affecting organisations.

A Week’s Pay
The statutory limit on a gross week’s pay has been increased. From 06th April 2015, a week’s pay is now subject to a maximum cap of £475 (increased from £464) for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy payments and basic awards.

Shared Parental Leave
The new system of shared parental leave is available to parents of children due to be born or placed for adoption with them from 05th April 2015. Eligible employees will be entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks leave and 39 weeks statutory pay upon the birth or adoption of a child which can be shared between the parents.

Employers should ensure that they have appropriate non-contractual policies included in their Staff Handbooks to set out employee’s entitlements in this regard and to ensure that they are familiar with this new system of leave.

More rights for Adopters
From 05th April 2015, adopters will benefit from the following increased rights:-

•    Removal of the requirements for 26 weeks’ service before employees become entitled to adoption leave;
•    Both single and joint adopters will have the right to attend adoption appointments and will be protected from suffering a detriment or being dismissed in relation to exercising that right;
•    Statutory adoption pay will be brought into line with statutory maternity pay; and
•    Current adoption rights will be extended to couples adopting a child from outside the UK and couples fostering children as part of a Fostering for Adoption Placement.

Unpaid Parental Leave
Unpaid parental leave could be taken for children up to the age of 5. From 05th April 2015, this increased and therefore the age of a child up to which unpaid parental leave may be taken will be increased to the child’s eighteenth birthday.

National Minimum Wage Consolidation
The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 came into force on 06th April 2015 and consolidate the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 and subsequent amending regulations into one piece of legislation.

Further guidance on this issue will be provided in due course. If you require any information on this issue in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact Sally Morris at or on 01905 734032 to discuss.

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