Circular No: NP/128/14
15th September 2014
TO ALL BRANCHES, REGIONAL COUNCILS & REGIONAL OFFICES
UPDATE: TIMETABLE LEGAL EVENTS
Please note forthcoming UK and EU developments
1st October 2014
- Increase in national minimum wage to £6.60 (adults).
- Right for employees and qualifying agency workers to take unpaid time off work to attend up to 2 ante-natal appointments with a pregnant woman with whom they have a “qualifying relationship”. The right is available to the pregnant woman’s husband, civil partner or partner (including same –sex partners); the father or parent of the pregnant women’s child, and intended parents in a surrogacy situation who meet specified conditions. ( The Children and Families Act 2014)
- The Deregulation Bill is due to commence Committee Stage in the House of Lords on 21st October 2014; the bill will, among other things, repeal employment tribunals power to make wider recommendations in discrimination cases.
- The Government will consult on making “caste” a protected characteristic of race as required by s97 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. Recent indications indicate that consultations would take place in the autumn of 2014.
5th APRIL 2015
- New right to shared parental leave and pay. Under the new scheme, women will continue to be eligible for statutory maternity leave and statutory maternity pay (or maternity allowance) in the same way as previously. However if a mother chooses to bring her leave and pay to an early end , eligible working parents will be able to shear the balance ,up to a total of 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay. Eligible adopters will also be able to use the new system for shared leave and pay.
- The Act also introduces changes to existing adoption leave and pay regime; extending it to include prospective fostering parents for adoption scheme and intended surrogate parents. In addition adoption leave and pay will be adapted to reflect entitlements that already exist for birth parents. There will not be any qualifying period for entitlement to leave and statutory adoption pay will be raised to 90% of salary for the first 6 weeks.
- Introduction of tax-free childcare for working families. The Government intends to provide 20% of working families’ childcare costs up to a limit of £1200 per annum per child.
- The Government have not yet responded to the remaining elements of its May 2011 Modern Workplace consultations on changing the Working Time Regs 1998. It is anticipated that any changes will reflect the European case law that has established that workers who are unable to take their annual leave because they are sick, maternity or parental leave in the current leave year must be able to carry it forward to the next year.
- Repeal of the socio-economic duty in s1 of the Equality Act 2010 which will if brought into force oblige public bodies to have regard to the desirability of exercising their functions so as to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio economic disadvantage.
I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this Circular to the attention of your Branch members.
Acting General Secretary