Employment Law Update from North Devon's Experts

Mark Cummings

From 1 October 2014, the following changes to employment legislation came into effect:

National Minimum Wage

The national minimum wage has increased and the new hourly rates are as follows:

  • For anyone 21 years old or above: £6.50 (3% increase)
  • For anyone of 18, 19 or 20 years:  £5.13 (1.9% increase)
  • For 16 – 17 year olds:                  £3.79 (1.8% increase)
  • Apprentices:                                £2.73 (1.8% increase)

Expectant Fathers

An expectant father or the partner (including same sex) of a pregnant woman is now entitled to take unpaid time off work to accompany the woman to up to 2 of her ante-natal appointments. “Partner” includes the spouse or civil partner of the pregnant woman and a person (of either sex) in a long term relationship with her.

However, the time off is capped at six and a half hours for each appointment.

There is no qualifying period for employees. This is a “day one” right.

Note though, that this is a right to time off work to accompany their spouse, partner or the woman who is carrying their child to an ante-natal appointment, not a right actually to attend the appointment.

Shared Parental Leave

From the 1st December 2014 there will be new shared parental leave rights for the 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 week following the birth, but following that they can choose to end the maternity leave and the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave.

If you would like any further information, contact us for a free no obligation discussion.