Newsflash: April changes – are you ready?

spring-changesIt’s April and we keep you up to speed with a reminder of what’s happening this month.

5 April

Shared Parental Leave

The new right to shared parental leave applies to eligible parents of babies due on or after 5 April 2015 (and in relation to adoptive parents of children placed for adoption on or after that date). See our October 2014 Newsletter Government reforms (1): Family friend(lier) – shared parental leave and pay for further details.

Statutory Adoption Leave and Pay changes

Changes relating to adoptive parents of children placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015 include the removal of the 26-week qualifying period and increase of statutory adoption pay to bring it into line with statutory maternity pay. The Act also allows prospective adoptive parents to take time off “for the purpose of having contact with the child or for any other purpose connected with the adoption”.

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increase

Maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay will be £139.58 per week from 5 April 2015.

Parental leave extension

The existing parental leave regime will be extended to parents of children aged between five and 18.

All parents of children aged 0 to 18 who have been continuously employed for one year and have, or expect to have, responsibility for a child will be entitled to take such leave. The leave is unpaid and up to a maximum of 18 weeks in total, limited to four weeks per year, per child.

6 April

Statutory sick pay increases

The standard rate of statutory sick pay will increase from £87.55 per week to £88.45.

Statutory payments and awards increases

The limits to Tribunal compensation will increase where the dismissal (or detriment, or whatever it is that is being complained about) takes place on or after 6th April 2015. The figures reflect an Retail Prices Index (RPI) increase of 2.3% in the year to September 2014.

Unfair dismissal compensatory award

  • Current limit – £76,574
  • Limit from 6 April – £78,335

Week’s pay (used to calculate redundancy payments and other awards)

  • Current limit – £464
  • Limit from 6 April – £475

Basic award for certain unfair dismissals (trade union membership or activities, health and safety duties, pension scheme trustee duties or acting as an employee representative)

  • Current limit – £5,676
  • Limit from 6 April – £5,807

The weekly pay rate is the maximum amount of a week’s pay for working out redundancy pay which mean that the maximum amount of statutory redundancy pay that an employee made redundant on or after 6 April 2015 will be able to receive will be £14,250.