March 2015 Employment Law Update


If you would like to discuss any employment issues please contact
Julie Taylor on 01635 508181

Shared Parental Leave

The much anticipated shared parental leave rights will be available for eligible parents of children born on or after the 5 April 2015. The new rules are intended to give more flexibility in how parents share the care of their children in the first 12 months instead of simply taking maternity and paternity leave (although maternity leave will remain the default option) and eligible parents will be able to split the available leave.

This means that the parents can decide to be off work at the same time or at different times and they may be able to take leave in more than one block. There are various formalities to comply with and BIS has a useful guide and calculator, although the accuracy has been challenged. ACAS also have a useful guide.

Increased compensation limits

With effect from the 6 April 2015 the increased compensation limited reported in last months update will take effect.

Holiday Pay

We have previously brought you news of the various challenges to the calculation of holiday pay that have been going through the UK and European courts. You can read our previous commentary here.

The Employment Tribunal has now considered the case of Lock v British Gas and have confirmed that the Working Time Regulations can be interpreted to ensure that commission payments are included in the calculation of holiday pay. This still only technically applies to the 4 weeks holiday under the European Working Time Directive, not the additional 1.6 weeks we have in the UK, however, practically this is likely to be difficult to administer.

Therefore, if you have employees who receive commission in addition to their usual salary, their holiday pay should include commission.

Mandatory reporting on gender pay inequality for large companies

The government has made an amendment to the Small Business Enterprise and Employment bill which will require mandatory reporting on gender pay gaps for large companies. This a step up from the voluntary scheme that is currently in place.

Under the voluntary “Think Act Report” scheme introduced three years ago, 5 of a total of 270 companies have voluntarily introduced reporting on pay levels between men and women within their company.

The new regulations will apply to companies with over 250 employees, with fines in the region of £5,000 for non-compliance. Companies will be expected to publish differences in starting salaries, basic pay and average earnings of men and women.

Unpaid parental leave

Also with effect from the 5 April 2015, the right to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of children up to 18 years of age.

Please note that these comments are intended to summarise some of the employment issues of the moment, not to provide detailed legal advice, so if you need assistance with any employment issues you may have please contact Julie Taylor on: 01635 508181 or  [email protected]

Follow Julie on Twitter: @JulieT_GL

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