After a quiet few months and little change in the employment legislation arena, there are some important changes in the pipeline which will begin falling into place in April. Here, Employment Law experts, Peninsula Business Services update us.
Income Tax personal allowance will be heading for an increase to £10,600 come April. This means that basic rate tax payers will benefit from a saving of £100 in 2015-2016.
However, Income Tax is one to keep your eye on, as it could be all change again. The Chancellor has pledged that the allowance would increase to £12,500 should the Conservatives stay in Government; this means that employees on minimum wage would avoid paying income tax altogether.
Not only have basic rate tax payers benefited from an increase in tax allowance, but higher rate tax payers have too. This means they’ll save £184 on their tax payable as their allowance will increase from £41,865 to £42,385. The Chancellor also gave an indication that this could increase to £50,000 by 2020.
With the Government vowing to improve access to work and training by creating up to 3 million apprenticeships in the next Parliament, employment laws have been changed to make offering apprenticeships more appealing.
How? Well, any business who chooses to hire an apprentice under the age of 25 will be exempt from National Insurance contributions.
The aim of this exemption is to improve access to work and training.
From April onwards, those who receive a carer’s allowance earnings limit will see a small increase with limits moving up to £110 per week.
The good news is this change will also benefit any households that employ carers because they will be able to earn up to £22,500 without having to pay National Insurance.
Shared parental leave
Probably one of the biggest changes of 2015 is the introduction of shared parental leave.
This is a new system for taking time off when a baby is born which will run alongside the existing maternity and paternity leave entitlements. Providing both parents meet a certain eligibility criteria, they will be able to share almost one year’s leave between them.
What’s more, shared parental leave will also be available to those who are matched to or do adopt a child from 5th April 2015 onward – again this is subject to meeting an eligibility criteria.
Aside this, there’s another pending change to adoption entitlements. The requirement for an adoptive parent to work for their employer for at least six months before they become entitled to take statutory adoption leave will be removed from April, which aligns it with the right to take maternity leave.
Statutory adoption pay
From April onwards, statutory adoption pay will also be increased for the first six weeks of leave to 90% of the employee’s wage. For the remainder of the leave, the employee will receive the statutory adoption rate (currently £138.18 per week, increasing to £139.58 from April).
Other things to look out for…
Although the following are still yet to be confirmed, we’re expecting that the National Minimum Wage will increase from October 2015, and regulation over the use of zero hours contracts will be introduced.
To keep up to date on HR and employment law, check out our Resource Library , where you’ll find more interesting articles from Peninsula and other industry experts.