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Recent Developments in Employment Law (Pt. 1)

There have been a number of changes to employment law recently which will affect both individuals and employers.  This article is intended to be a brief summary of the changes, together with some proposed changes.

Gender Pay Gap Reports

Public sector employers, with 250 employers or more, must publish their reports by 30 March 2019.

Private and voluntary sector employers (where they have at least 250 employees) must publish their reports by 4 April 2019.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

With effect from 6 April 2019, the rate for SSP will increase to £94.25 per week.  To be eligible for SSP you must be employed; have been ill for a minimum of 4 days in a row which can include non-working days such as weekends; earn a minimum average weekly salary of £116, and inform your employer within 7 days of your sickness or by their deadline if they have one.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)

With effect from 6 April 2019 SMP, SPP, ShPP and SAP rates will increase to £148.68 per week. 

Pregnancy Protection Consultation

Currently if a new mother is at risk of redundancy during her maternity leave (or for the period of two weeks after the child’s birth if there is no right to maternity leave) she must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, assuming there is one.  The terms and conditions of this new job should be broadly similar to her original job and it should be offered to her in preference to any other workers who are being made redundant.

The government is currently carrying a consultation into extending this protected period to cover the six months after the new mother returns to work.  The consultation closes on 5 April 2019 and also considers whether to give parents returning from shared parental leave or adoption leave the same rights.

Rachel O’Connell, Director at JE Solicitors