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April 2015 – Employment Changes

 

 

1, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay will increase from £138.18 to £139.58 from 6 April 2015

Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP) is payable for the two-week ordinary statutory paternity leave period at the standard rate of £139.68 or 90% of average weekly earnings if lower than the standard rate.

For babies due or placed for adoption on or after 5 April 2015, parents may share leave and pay.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay replaces Additional Paternity Leave and Pay and is paid at £139.58 per week from 6 April 2015.

Under the statutory scheme, 39 weeks out of a possible total of 52 weeks is paid; the remaining 13 weeks unpaid.

Birth parents will be entitled to SPL if a mother, who is entitled to statutory maternity leave or statutory maternity allowance, curtails her leave and shares the balance of the leave with her partner (or the other parent)

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is payable for up to 39 weeks at the standard rate of £139. From 6 April 2015, the first 6 weeks of SAP will be paid at a rate of 90% of average weekly earnings.

All employers can recover the statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay paid to employees. Large employers can recover 92% of the amounts paid, and small employers 100% plus a small amount of compensation (3% for 2014/15).

“Keeping-in-touch days” allow employees to work for not more than 10 days while in receipt of SMP or SAP (or from April 2015 ShPP), without loss of entitlement.

Penalties may be charged for a failure to administer SMP, SPP, ASPP, SAP or ShPP properly, for example for not paying amounts due, obtaining funding fraudulently or for a failure to keep proper records or make correct returns.

2, The rate of Statutory Sick Pay will increase to £88.45 per week and £17.69 per day on 6 April 2015. The lower earnings threshold for National Insurance purposes will rise from £111 per week to £112 per week.

3, Increases to redundancy payments, tribunal awards and benefit rates from 6 April

A week’s pay for the purpose of calculating the basic award for unfair dismissal and redundancy payments increases from £464 to £475. The maximum Statutory Redundancy Payment will be £14,250 (30 weeks at £475)

Redundant employees who have a minimum of two years’ continuous service with the employer as at the date on which their employment ends have the right to a statutory redundancy payment. Statutory redundancy pay is calculated according to a fixed formula based on the employee’s age, length of service and rate of pay, as follows:

 

  • for years of service up to the age of 21 inclusive, the employee must be paid half a week‘s pay for each complete year of service
  • for service between the ages of 22 and 40 inclusive, the employee is entitled to one week‘s pay for each complete year of service
  • for service from the age of 41 upwards, the employee is entitled to 1.5 week‘s pay for each complete year of service.

 

There is an overall statutory cap to the compensatory award payable for unfair dismissal, which is currently £76,574 (as from 6 April 2014). For all claims dealt with at tribunal on or after 29 July 2013, there is a further cap equivalent to one year’s salary (i.e. the claimant’s salary as at the date of termination.

4, The National Minimum Wage rate remains at £6.50 per hour and will increase to £6.70 from 1 October 2015.

Also remember the following rates:

For those aged between 18-20 years it is £5.13 per hour

For those aged between 16-17 years it is £3.79 per hour

For Apprentices (those under the age of 19 and older apprentices in the first year of apprenticeship) it is £2.73 per hour

Employers can be fined up to £20,000 for non-compliance (£5,000 maximum prior to 7 March 2014).

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