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The government has announced several proposed changes to employment law. It has also launched a number of consultations on further proposed changes. A round-up of the most important changes is listed below to help members understand them and their potential impact. As we dealt with shared parental leave in the last up-date, we have not included them here.
Managing sickness absence
A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced in April 2015, offering occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. The service can provide an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence.
New statutory pay rates
Statutory pay for maternity, paternity adoption and shared parental leave will increase to £139.58 per week on 5 April 2015. Statutory sick pay will increase to £88.45 per week at the same time.
Statutory adoption leave and pay
From 5 April 2015, the statutory adoption leave will no longer have the 26 week qualifying period and adoption pay will be brought in line with maternity pay which will be 90% of normal earnings for the first six weeks.
On 5 April 2015, the right to unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 years.
Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave
From April 2015, provided they meet the eligibility criteria parents who have a child through surrogacy will be permitted to take ordinary paternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay. Both parents will also be entitled to take unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the woman carrying the child.
Upper age limit for jury service to be increased
The upper age limit for jury service will increase from 70 to 75 in England and Wales. Exact date to be announced.