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Employment Law Updates for 2014

It’s vital that as an employer you keep up to date with the latest changes in employment law. 2014 has seen a fair few employment law changes so far, with more due to come into force over the next few months.

Below is a summary of all the changes and the dates you need to be aware of:

Failure to pay employees the National Minimum Wage

From the 7th March 2014, the maximum financial penalty for employers who fail to pay their workers the National Minimum Wage was increased from £5,000 to £20,000. The Government has already ‘named and shamed’  five employers who failed to pay their employees the NMW.

Spent convictions

On 10th March 2014, there was a shortening of the time frame in which offenders must declare certain previous convictions to prospective employers and when such convictions are deemed to be “spent”.

Maternity and Paternity pay increases

As of 6th April 2014, maternity pay, ordinary and additional paternity pay, and adoption pay increased from £136.78 to £138.18 per week.

A new weekly-paid maternity allowance (currently £27 per week for a maximum of 14 weeks) for women who give birth on or after 27th July 2014 and who work unpaid in their self-employed husband or civil partner’s business, is now in force.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) increase

Statutory sick pay increased from £86.70 to £87.55 on 6th April 2014.

Minimum Wage increase

The adult rate of the National Minimum Wage increases by 3% from £6.31 to £6.50 an hour, from 1st October 2014. The rate for 18 to 20 year olds will go up by 10p to £5.13 an hour, and for people aged 16 and 17 it will rise by 7p to £3.79; both are a 2% rise

Employment Tribunal changes

From 6th April onwards, the maximum limits on Employment Tribunal compensation increased. The maximum “basic award” and “compensatory award” for unfair dismissal increased from £5,500 to £5,676 and £74,200 to £76,574 respectively. The maximum amount of a week’s pay, used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and the “basic award”, also increased from £450 to £464.

From 6th April 2014, Claimants are no longer able to serve “Discrimination Questionnaires” on Respondents in discrimination cases.

Further changes to employment tribunal rules and flexible working were already announced from 6th April.

Contact Hopkins

If you’re unsure of how the changes will impact your business or whether you are compliant, please contact one of our employment law specialists.

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