Important HR and Employment Law Regulation Update - April 2015
- Date: Wednesday 25th March 2015
There are a number of important regulation changes/amendments occuring in April.
In particular there are two important HR and Employment Law Regulation updates that employers should consider.
Shared Parental Leave
2015 sees the arrival of Shared Parental Leave in the UK, a concept that some of our European neighbours have been offering for the past 40 years. Under the new legislation, both carers/parents will be able to share 50 weeks leave and up to 39 weeks Shared Parental Pay, as long as they qualify.
This means great news for families with two earners, enabling partners to support each other through the first few months of being a new parent and not wanting to give up their careers in the process.
Employers are wary though, particularly since the administrational burden attached to the changes is extremely confusing to most. Notifications, declarations, curtailment notices, self assessment forms and leave notices; it all seems yet again more complicated than it needs to be.
However, once employers look past the politics, shared parental leave can bring a huge advantage to those who embrace the change and communicate clearly with their employees. By granting employees more flexibility, having a baby does now not automatically mean being out of the workplace for a year. More choice may enable employers to hold back on recruiting for those hard-to-fill specialist positions and instead opt for small blocks of leave, also utilising SPLIT days (former KIT days) to ensure employees are kept up-to-date with developments at work.
It is unlikely that we will see a sudden surge in uptake, since this law challenges our general attitude toward role behaviours and it will take more than a legislative update to change this. Most employees are currently still inclined to stick to the traditional set-up and statistics from Denmark, who have been operating shared leave since 2004, show that 79% of mothers take leave as before.
Regardless, it is important that employers comply with the new guidelines and ensure that employees are being treated fairly.
The changes come into force for parents of children born on or after 05th April 2015.
If you have not already done so, you need to amend your policies accordingly and make sure you gain a basic understanding of the main rules, which are outlined on the ACAS website.
Ask your SSG HR consultant for more details, and we can formulate your procedures and help communicate these to your staff.
National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015
The National Minimum Wage Regulations were introduced in 1999. Since then they have been amended over twenty times. As part of the Red Tape Challenge, the Government concluded a single set of Regulations were needed. The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 will attempt to clarify and consolidate the current rules making the regulations more user friendly, easier to understand and easier to implement.
As predicted, the national minimum wage level will increase from 01st October 2015. This year, the adult rate increases by 3%, the steepest rise employees have seen since 2008.
For more information click here