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Five Big HR Changes for 2015 – 2015 has arrived!
Here are five major HR changes planned for the year ahead. Is your business prepared?
Change 1: Shared parental leave
The long awaited shared parental leave and pay will be introduced. This means that parents will have greater flexibility in how they 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.
Change 2: Statutory adoption leave and pay
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.
Statutory adoption pay will be brought into line with statutory maternity pay by setting it at 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks.
Surrogate parents will also become eligible for adoption leave. The leave will 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.
Also, there will be a new right for local authority parents who are prospective adopters to take adoption leave.
Change 3: Child’s age limit for parental leave raises to 18
Parental leave is the statutory right to a period of unpaid leave that may be taken by a parent during the first five years of the child’s life. It is unrelated to shared parental leave.
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.
Change 4: New right to take time off to attend adoption appointments
A new right to attend adoption appointments will allow the main adopter to take time off to attend up to five appointments. The secondary adopter will be entitled to take time off for up to two such appointments.
Change 5: New Fit for Work service
The new Fit for Work service is scheduled to be introduced in England and Wales over the next year. It will offer 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.
The service can also be used to provide more generalised, open-access occupational health advice to employees, employers and general practitioners, regardless of the duration of any sickness.
Is your business ready for 2015?
“2014 saw a wide range of Employment Law changes for businesses to adhere to. 2015 is looking very similar,” says Matthew from Consensus HR. “We are continually advising our clients on the changes that have happened – or are about to take place – and how their business can accommodate these.”
Matthew explains: “We use a range of a range of methods from the introduction or update of company policies and procedures to creating and running a specific topic related development course. We take action to and ensure that our clients never have the unfortunate arrival of an ET3 (Employment Tribunal form).”
Is your business ready for 2015? Find out! Contact Matthew via [email protected] , 01462 621 243 or 0774 7789279