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What to expect in Employment Law in the second half of 2014

The Government has announced several proposed changes to employment law. It has also launched a number of consultations on further proposed changes.

Changes coming in on 1 October 2014:

  1. National Minimum Wage Increases: The annual increase to the National Minimum Wage Rates will come into force from 1 October 2014. The rates depend on the type and age of worker and will be as follows:
  • The standard adult rate (for workers aged 21 and over) will rise by 3% to £6.50 an hour (up from 19p from £6.31)
  • The youth development rate (for workers aged between 18 and 20) will rise by 2% to £5.13 an hour (up 10p from £5.03).
  • The young workers rate (for workers aged under 18 but above the compulsory school age who are not apprentices) will rise by 2% to £3.79 an hour (up 7p from £3.72).
  • The rate for apprentices will rise by 2% to £2.73 an hour (up 5p from £2.68).
  • The accommodation offset will rise by 3.5% to £5.08 a day (up 17p from £4.91).
  1. Children and Families Act 2014: Certain provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 will also come into force on 1 October. From 1 October 2014, fathers and partners will be able to take unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments and will be protected from detriment and dismissal as a result of exercising these rights.
  2. Equality Act 2010 (Equal Pay Audits) Regulations 2014: The Equality Act 2010 (Equal Pay Audits) Regulations 2014 is also due to come into force on 1 October. Where an employer is found to be in breach of equal pay legislation, these Regulations will require tribunals to order such employers to carry out equal pay audits.

Changes coming in on 1 December 2014:

  • Shared Parental Leave: The new statutory provisions are due to come into force on 1 December 2014 and shared parental leave will be available for parents of children expected to be born or placed with them for adoption from 5 April 2015. Under this new system parents will be able to choose how long they share the care of their child during the first year after birth. Mothers will still take at least the initial two weeks following the birth, following that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave.

For more information on these changes, please contact us on 01483 303636.

Clare McDairmant, Solicitor, Just Employment Solicitors

Clare McDairmant, Marketing Manager, Just Employment Ltd.

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