New for 2015


New for 2015

In 2015 there are some changes that will affect all employers. Personnel Today have outlined some of these changes for you in this article below. If you require clarification of any of the items  Cork Griffiths will be able to put you directly in touch with an experienced employment lawyer or HR professional. To see the full article in more detail visit here

. Shared parental leave and pay begins

Shared parental leave and pay is introduced that will provide greater flexibility in how parents share the care of their child in its first year. It will be available to couples with a baby due, or children placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015.

The parents will be able to share the mother’s maternity leave and, if available, maternity pay. Shared parental leave will also be available to employees who are, or expect to be, the parents of a child under a parental order, where the child’s expected week of birth begins on or after 5 April 2015.

2. Changes to statutory adoption leave and pay

The Paternity and Adoption Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2014 make significant changes to adoption leave. The 26-week qualifying period to be eligible to take adoption leave will be removed, bringing it into line with the eligibility requirements for maternity leave.

The Children and Families Act 2014 brings statutory adoption pay into line with statutory maternity pay by setting it at 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks.

3. Child’s age limit for parental leave raises to 18

From 5 April 2015, the age limit for the child will increase from five to 18 years. Parents with sufficient qualifying service will have the right to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave up to the child’s 18th birthday.

4. New Fit for Work service available for employees with sickness absence of four weeks or more

The new Fit for Work service is scheduled to be introduced in England and Wales over the next year, offering employers access to free occupational assistance for employees who have been off sick for four weeks or more.

Employers will be able to claim up to £500 tax relief on payments for medical treatment for their employees where the treatment has been recommended under the new scheme.

5. Removal of restrictions on defined-contribution pension schemes

There will be the removal of certain restrictions in respect of how individuals can draw their benefits from their defined-contribution pension pots after age 55, from April 2015.

6. Statutory maternity pay, ordinary paternity pay and adoption pay increase

The rates of statutory maternity, ordinary statutory paternity pay and statutory adoption pay will increase on 5 April 2015. For more details on these changes visit

7. Statutory sick pay increases

The standard rate of statutory sick pay increases on 6 April 2015.

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