We have summarised the employment law changes set to come into force in the UK over the next two years.
Below are details of what is proposed to help businesses plan for the potential implications of these legislative revisions.
National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage will increase to:
Employment terms and conditions – agricultural and horticultural
Changes in statutory employment terms and conditions in agriculture and horticulture in England.
1 October 2013
Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment (TUPE)
Changes to TUPE that have made it through the consultation include:
In addition, the Government is going to increase the time before the transfer by which employee liability information must be provided, from 14 to 28 days.
It is proposed that these changes will come into force in January 2014, although this has not been confirmed.
Early conciliation to come into force
From April 2014, before lodging a tribunal claim, all claimants will need to notify ACAS first, where conciliation will be offered.
ACAS is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitrary Service (a non-departmental public body of the government in the UK).
If conciliation is unsuccessful within the set period, claimants can then lodge a tribunal claim.
The Government proposes to extend the right of flexible working to all employees and remove the current statutory procedure for considering requests.
This will mean employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner and have the right to refuse requests on business grounds.
Flexible parental leave
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. They can then choose to end their maternity leave and both 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 women the right to take unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments.
Parental leave extended to 18
The right to unpaid parental leave will be extended to parents of any child under the age of 18.
Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave
Provided they meet the eligibility criteria, parents who have a child through surrogacy, will be able 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.
School leaving age to rise to 18
Under the present law, the school leave age is 16. However, from September 2013, the education leaving age will rise to 17 and from 2015, it will rise again, to 18.