Round-up of key employment news for 2015

Home / Employment / Round-up of key employment news for 2015


The new shared parental leave scheme is now in place for parents whose babies were due on or after 5 April 2015, or who had children placed for adoption on or after that date. The shared parental leave rate from 5 April 2015 is £139.58, in line with other maternity, paternity and adoption allowances. BIS ( ) and Acas ( have both published guidance.

Adoption rights – the 26 week qualifying period for adoption leave was removed and statutory adoption pay was brought in to line with statutory maternity pay. Adopters can take paid time off for some ‘adoption appointments’ from 5 April 2015.

The right to take parental leave was extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 – from 5 April 2015.


National Minimum Wage rates

The national minimum wage rates increased on 1 October 2015: the standard adult rate to £6.70, the development rate for those aged 18-20 to £5.30, the young workers rate for those aged 16-17 to £3.87, and the apprentice rate to £3.30.

A maximum £20,000 penalty for underpaying the national minimum wage, on a per worker basis rather than per notice, came into force on 26 May 2015.

National Living Wage

In April 2016, a compulsory National Living Wage will be introduced to help all employees and workers over the age of 25. The National Living Wage will be set at £7.20 an hour – a rate the Government sees as the minimum that an employee can live off.

For employers, you must ensure that any employees or workers over 25 are receiving the National Living Wage as of April 2016. It doesn’t matter how small or large your business may be.

Statutory sick pay

The rate of (SPP) increased from £87.55 to £88.45 from 6 April 2015.


Rolling out through 2015, the government now provides a free service called “Fit For Work” . The service provides advice about work and health related matters should an employee be off work for four weeks or more. The free health assessment provided can help an employee to structure a plan to get back into work. Should an employee be off work for four weeks or more, the service also provides a free health assessment that can help them to structure a plan to get back into work.

For employers, Fit For Work provides health and work advice online and over the phone. The service helps businesses to manage sickness absence and develop a plan for getting their employees back to work. Employers can also claim a tax exemption of up to £500 per employee for medical treatments that help employees return to work. Employers will be able to refer employees to the Fit for Work service from autumn 2015.

Contact me

If you enter your contact details below I will get back to you shortly. Thank you for getting in touch!