Easter weekend has seen the implementation of a number of changes to employment law. A summary of the law now in force is as follows:

Shared Parental Leave

Parents of children born or placed for adoption with them on or after 5 April can now take advantage of the new right to Shared Parental Leave. Qualifying parents can now share up to a maximum of 52 weeks’ leave and 39 weeks’ statutory pay between them.  Our Shared Parental Leave Policy, forms, and guide on the employmentor website has full details.

Unpaid Parental Leave

Unpaid parental leave is now available (for eligible parents) up until their child reaches 18 years old.  Previously, unpaid parental leave was only available until the child reached 5 years old unless the child had a disability.

Increase in the Rights for Adopters

A number of changes have come in to bring rights for those on adoption leave broadly in line with those on maternity leave:

  • Employees no longer need 26 weeks’ service before they are entitled to adoption leave;
  • Statutory adoption pay now matches statutory maternity pay;
  • The adoption rights have been widened to include couples adopting a child from outside the UK, and also to couples fostering a child under a Fostering for Adoption Placement; and
  • The right to attend adoption appointments will cover joint adopters in addition to single adopters, and those employees will be protected from being subjected to a detriment or dismissal as a result of doing so.

Changes to rates

The maximum compensatory award that an Employment Tribunal can order has been increased to £78,335 (or 52 weeks’ pay, whichever is the lower).

The maximum weekly pay figure, used to calculate a redundancy payment and a basic award in the Tribunal, has been increased to £475.

The statutory maternity and paternity weekly pay rates have increased to £139.58.  This is also the weekly pay rate for shared parental pay.

Statutory Sick Pay has increased to £88.45 per week.

For further information on any of the changes above, please contact one of the Employmentor team.

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