2015 is an election year and is therefore likely to be full of changes in the employment law field. Some of the proposals will be promises which never materialise but some may just get off the ground. We bring you a round up of the key dates and changes employers should be aware of in the year ahead including changes to family friendly rights and the eagerly awaited decision in a case on holiday pay.
New Fit for Work Service
A new Fit for Work Service is due to be introduced over the coming year. It will offer employers access to free occupational assistance for employees who have been off sick for four weeks or more. Watch this space! Employers will be able to claim £500 tax relief on payment for medical treatment for its employees who benefit from treatment recommended by the Service.
Other key dates and changes
4 February 2015 – Holiday pay - The European Court of Justice ruled in May 2014 that when calculating holiday pay it must include commission where it is part of remuneration. The Employment Tribunal’s decision in Lock v British Gas to determine whether the Working Time Regulations can be interpreted in line with the ECJ’s decision is awaited. If it can be, the question will be how much holiday pay Mr Lock is due.
5 February 2015 – Collective redundancies - The Advocate General will provide his opinion on whether the words “at one establishment” in the legislation dealing with redundancies of 20 or more employees are to be disregarded. If so, this would mean that an employer would have to follow a full collective consultation process even if the employees are in different parts of the country.
5 April 2015 – Shared parental leave – Couples with a baby due, or children placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015 will have greater flexibility in sharing the care of their child in its first year. For further details of shared parental leave see our earlier news article.
The requirement to have 26-weeks service before an employee is entitled to adoption leave will be removed. The main adopter will also be entitled to take time off to attend up to five adoption appointments with the secondary adopter being entitled to time off to attend up to two appointments. The Children and Families Act 2013 introduces this right. Employees will be entitled to protection from dismissal and/or detriment in relation to the time off.
The right to unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of any child under the age of 18. This is currently only available to parents of any child under 5 unless the child is disabled.
6 April 2015 – Statutory sick pay – The standard rate of statutory sick pay will increase on this date. Check out our blog nearer the time for details of the rate.
6 April 2015 – Self - employment - The Financial Bill 2014 has introduced measures to combat false self-employment. Employment agencies will be required to keep records and file returns, the first being due by 5 August 2015, regarding non-deduction of tax from workers and the reasons for this.
5 May 2015 – General election
1 July 2015 – Holiday pay – Claims brought on or after this date by employees for non-guaranteed overtime to be included in holiday pay will be limited to two years pay.
1 October 2015 – National Minimum Wage - will increase from this date.
There are bound to be other changes, the dates of which are not yet known, but you can keep up to date by checking out our news articles.