Employment Law Update

Regardless of the size of business you run, all businesses have to comply with various employment laws. There have been a number of interesting changes and we begin from April 2015.

Parental Leave – from 5 April 2015

Parents with children under the age of 18 can request to up to 18 weeks unpaid leave. There are various conditions including:

  • The employee must have been employed for at least one year
  • The employee must give at least 21 days’ notice to the employer (this can be requested in writing by the employer)
  • The employee must have responsibility for the child (or expect to do so)

Employees’ rights remain protected while they remain on parental leave.

Further information can be found on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/parental-leave/overview

Shared Parental Leave – from 5 April 2015

This should not be confused with parental leave and in simple terms enables the parent to share maternity leave and pay.

There are a number of conditions and further information can be found by clicking on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/shared-parental-leave-and-pay-employer-guide/overview

Fit For Work Service (“FFWS”) – 8 September 2015

This is a new package to help employees stay in or return to work and does not replace existing occupational health services provided by employers.

The FFWS provides the following:

  • Free health and work advice through its website and telephone advice line
  • Free occupational health assessments for employees off sick (or likely to be off) for 4 weeks or more.

Employees can only be referred once in any 12 month period and the Government has introduced a £500 tax (and NIC) exemption per year per employee for medical treatments recommended to help employee’s return back to work.

Further information can be found on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fit-for-work-guidance-for-employers

National Minimum Wage – 1 October 2015

The national minimum wage increased from 1st October 2015.

The rate for adults aged 21 or more increased to £6.70 (from £6.50).

The apprentice rate has also increased to £3.31 (from £2.73).

The rate for young workers (compulsory school age to 18) has increased to £3.87 (from £3.79).

The Development rate has increased to £5.30 (from £5.13).

More information can be found on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

Turban workplace rule changes for Sikhs – 1 October 2015

Turban-wearing Sikhs will now have the right to choose not to wear head protection and will be exempt from legal requirements to wear a safety helmet in most workplaces although there are some exemptions for emergency response services and the military, which apply only in hazardous operational situations when the wearing of a safety helmet is considered necessary.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-overturns-turban-workplace-rule

Zero hour contracts – 15 October 2015

The Government has provided some guidance on zero hour contracts which clarifies a number of points.

Employees under zero hour contracts are entitled to the national minimum wage and maintain statutory employment rights. Employers cannot use exclusivity rights to prevent individuals from looking for work or accepting work from another employer.

Full guidance can be found by accessing the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/zero-hours-contracts-guidance-for-employers/zero-hours-contracts-guidance-for-employers

National Living Wage – April 2016

From April 2016, the national living wage is expected to be £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and older.

The minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under.

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

The information provided above does not constitute to legal advice and is provided for information purposes only. You should always seeks your own independent legal advice.

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