Name: Alison Welsh
Company: Square Circle
Alison Welsh Alison Welsh is a Director of Square Circle, a human resource consultancy and employment law company. Email Alison with your financial queries and she will answer in following issues of BWS magazine.
What’s been happening recently in Employment Law?
Changes to holiday pay – what a nightmare!Introduction of Shared Parental Leave – another administrative dilemma! Employment Law is updated on a regular basis and some aspects are straight forward such as an increase in the statutory rate of maternity pay or the national minimum wage.
Others such as how to calculate holiday pay has been causing challenges for many small businesses. I suspect that this will continue for some time until everyone has a clearer understanding of how to do this in practical terms.
Square Circle HR has started to see cases where employees have requested to take Shared Parental Leave which is very interesting.The Shared Parental Leave takes the place of additional paternity leave and has more flexibility plus parents can both be off at the same time provided the total length of leave available is not exceeded.The interesting thing about this new policy is that during the entire time additional paternity leave was available, Square Circle only ever had one request to use this.Perhaps the fact that we are seeing Shared Parental Leave already being requested by employees is a sign of what is to come. This policy may be more popular than the last one which was also intended to encourage parents to share the earliest time with the child.If this is the case, then I would advise that you have a policy in place very quickly and be prepared for requests as it is in place for babies due to be born or placed for adoption on or after the 5th April 2015. From what we have found so far, it’s easier when you have an actual situation to work through since reading about it and putting it into practice is more complicated!
In terms of updating employment law in April this year, there is not much else to report though the Parental Leave (which is not to be confused with Shared Parental Leave!) is changing so that parents can take unpaid leave of up to 18 weeks spread over the time until the child is 18 years old. This leave is unpaid and usually restricted to a maximum of 4 weeks in any year.
Another slight change is for Adoption Leave so that it mirrors more closely the Maternity Leave though lots of people thought that it already did, there were one or two slight differences. As from 5th April there is no longer a requirement to have been employed for a specific length of time to be eligible for Adoption Leave which will be available from day one of employment as Maternity Leave is. However, there is still a requirement for a certain length of service to be able to claim Adoption Pay and this is the case with Maternity Pay as well.
I hope that gives you a flavour of the main changes. If you would like to know more about these or get help to implement any policies or procedures then please contact Alison Welsh on 0141 248 7826 or emsil firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shared Parental Leave takes the place of additional paternity leave and has more flexibility plus parents can both be off at the same time provided the total length of leave available is not exceeded