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Employment law update

Feb 03, 2015
The government has announced several proposed changes to employment law. It has also launched a number of consultations on further proposed changes. Here is a roundup of these changes.

Proposed changes to employment law

Launch date

Shared Parental Leave: for parents of children born or matched for adoption on or after 5 April, 2015

Under this new system parents will be able to choose how they share the care of their child during the first year after birth. Mothers will still take at least the initial two weeks following the birth, after that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave. Also under this new shared parental leave it is proposed to allow the husband, civil partner or partner of the pregnant woman the right to unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments. 

 1 December, 2014

Managing sickness absence

A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced, offering fee occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. The service can provide an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence. Further information is available at

 April 2015

Statutory adoption leave and pay

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 earning for the first six weeks.

 5 April, 2015

Parental Leave extended to 18

The right to unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 years.

 5 April, 2015

Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave

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.

 April 2015

Exemption for Reservists from two year qualifying period for unfair dismissal

Employees who are reservists will be exempted from the two year qualifying period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim where the reason for dismissal is the employee's reservist’s service.

 To be confirmed

All young people to be in education or training until the age of 18 (England)


Upper age limit for jury service is increased

The upper age limit for jury service will increase from 70 to 75 in England and Wales.

 To be announced


For more information on any of the above, visit

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