Shared Parental Leave

How will it affect employers and employees?

Family-friendly leave entitlements are changing!  Shared Parental Leave (SPL) applies to parents of children who are due to be born/adopted on or after 5 April 2015 and will give parents more flexibility over when they take leave during the first year of their child’s life.

SPL will be an “opt-in” system so the current maternity and adoption leave provisions apply unless parents choose to share it.  2 weeks ordinary paternity leave will remain available to fathers/partners, but the option to take additional paternity leave has been removed.

SPL is available to families where both parents are employed and also where one parent is employed and the other is classed as “economically active”, which only requires a low level of earnings.

Employment rights during leave, in redundancy situations and on return are the same as during maternity leave.
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What are the changes to calculating holiday pay?

New calculations for holiday pay – what you need to know

You will have heard that recent court judgments should now be considered when calculating holiday pay.  In addition to the current way of calculations, the rules employers and workers follow to calculate holiday pay may need to be updated.

  • Guaranteed* and normal Non-guaranteed** overtime is to be taken into consideration when calculating the employee’s statutory holiday pay entitlement.
  •  At time of writing there is no case law to say voluntary overtime needs to be taken into account.
  • Commission is to be factored into statutory holiday pay calculations.
  • Work-related travel may need to be factored into statutory holiday pay calculations.
  • Entitlement to holiday pay will continue to accrue during sick leave.
  • There are different rules for calculating holiday pay depending on the working patterns involved.
  • Workers must take their statutory paid annual leave allowance and can only be ‘paid in lieu‘ for this when their employment ends.

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How do I manage requests for flexible working?

Since June 2014 eligible employees have the legal right to request flexible working and employers and employers are still struggling with how to manage these requests.

‘Eligible workers’ must be an employee and have at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment at the date they apply and have the right to request changes to hours, times and place of work.

Every application must:

  • be made in writing and dated
  • state that it is an application under the statutory right to apply for flexible working arrangements
  • specify the change applied for and the date on which it is proposed that the change should become effective
  • explain what effect making the change applied for would have on the Company and how the employee suggests any such effect might be dealt with.

A formal meeting will be held where the employee has the right to be accompanied by a colleague to discuss the application.
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