A recap on Employment Law

shutterstock_260763134When you employ staff, be it just one or two employees, or thousands; you will need to keep abreast of current UK employment law and be aware of any changes that come in. 2014 saw some interesting and exciting changes to employment law; we’ve put together an overview of some changes to the law which were introduced in 2014.

  • The National Insurance Contributions Act 2014 introduced a new employment allowance, claimable from 6 April 2014, to reduce employers NI contributions bills.
  • The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced an innovative shared parental leave scheme as well as statutory shared parental pay, a right to time off for antenatal care, changes to adoption leave and pay, and extended the right to request flexible working to all employees.
  • The Pensions Act 2014 brought further changes to both state and private pensions.
  • Additional, but by no means lesser changes also included –
  • In January 2014, Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals who joined the EU in 2007 had their restrictions on working in any EU Member State lifted.
  • In March Penalties for employers who do not pay the minimum wage rose substantially to up to £20,000.
  • Also in March, there were some changes to the law regarding the disclosure of spent convictions. The period during which certain convictions need to be disclosed to potential employers was reduced. The Ministry of Justice has published some helpful guidance on the changes.
  • In April under the National Insurance Contributions Act 2014, a new employment allowance entitles every business and charity to a £2,000 reduction in employer national insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year. HMRC have published a useful calculator and detailed guidance on how to claim it.
  • In April 2014, the maximum civil penalty for illegally employing an immigrant rose from £10,000 to £20,000.
  • Again in April, the rate for statutory sick pay (SPP) increased from £86.70 to £87.55 and the Percentage Threshold Scheme, which allowed employers to claim back statutory sick pay in certain circumstances, was ended.
  • From April 2014, the basic rates of maternity allowance and statutory maternity pay (SMP), statutory paternity pay (SPP) and statutory adoption pay (SAP) all increased from £136.78 to £138.18.
  • From June 2014, the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service. Employers are now required to consider all requests in a reasonable manner.
  • In October 2014, National Minimum Wage rates were increased. The standard adult rate increased to £6.50, the development rate for those aged 18-20 to £5.13, the young workers rate for those aged 16-17 to £3.79, and the apprentice rate to £2.73.
  • In December innovative regulations introducing the new shared parental leave scheme came into force. They will affect parents whose babies are due on or after 5 April 2015, or children placed for adoption on or after that date.

As you can see, 2014 was a busy year in terms of employment law, and 2015 looks to be bringing some big changes with regards to employing staff. Change can often be difficult to implement and having access to HR Consultancy Services can make the transition easier for you and your business. Next month we’ll be taking a look at what 2015 has in store in terms of HR.

For more information, advice or support in implementing any of these changes into your workplace, contact Triple Three Solutions today on 0161 300 1214, or visit their website https://www.triplethreesolutions.co.uk/