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New National Living Wage to be Introduced in April 2016

In the budget last month, the Government announced that, from April 2016, a new national living wage of £7.20 an hour for the over 25s will be introduced. This will rise to over £9 an hour by 2020.

For the time being, every employee must be paid at least:

  Current rate (effective from 1 October 2014) Future rate (effective from 1 October 2015)
Main (adult) rate (workers aged 21 and over) £6.50 per hour £6.70 per hour
Development rate (workers aged 18-20 inclusive) £5.13 per hour £5.30 per hour
Rate for workers aged 16-17 inclusive £3.79 per hour £3.87 per hour
Apprentice rate £2.73 per hour £3.30 per hour
Accommodation offset £5.08 per day £5.35 per day

The Government is proposing to streamline the number of minimum wage rates and have a single minimum wage rate for apprentices and 16-17 year-olds. This would see an apprentices' wage rise from £2.73 to £3.79 an hour and potentially make apprenticeships a more financially attractive route for young people.

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Obsessive Email Checking Damaging Productivity Family Life


Employees’ obsessive need to check emails out of working hours is having a detrimental effect on both productivity and family relationships, Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University told delegates at the British Psychological Society conference this week.

Britons work the longest hours Monday to Friday in the developed world, and “we’re most substantial user of technology than almost any other country,” he said, which was contributing to an already over-worked nation.

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New Statutory Rates

  • The maximum week's pay that can be taken into account rises from £464 to £475 from 6 April 2015
Maternity Pay
  • The rate of maternity, paternity pay and adoption pay increases from £138.18 per week to £139.58 per week.
Shared Parental Pay
  • Statutory shared parental pay is also set at £139.58 per week.
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Fathers Now Have Almost the Same Leave Rights As Mothers

What Is Shared Parental Leave?

For expectant parents with babies due on or after 5 April 2015 couples will be able to divide almost all of the traditional maternity leave entitlement between them. The right also applies to those adopting a child.

How much time can parents take off?

They effectively have a year – apart from a compulsory two-week recovery period after childbirth which the mother must take – and can divide the time between them in any combination.

In brief, the new right enables mothers/adopters to:
  • commit to ending their maternity/adoption leave and pay at a future date; and 
  • to share the untaken balance of leave and pay as shared parental leave and pay with their partner; or
  • to return to work early from maternity/adoption leave and opt in to shared parental leave and pay at a later date. 
Shared parental leave must be taken in blocks of at least one week. Individuals can request to take shared parental leave in one continuous block (in which case the Company is required to accept the request as long as the employee meets the eligibility and notice requirements), or as a number of discontinuous blocks of leave (in which case the employee needs the Company’s agreement). A maximum of three requests for leave per pregnancy/adoption can normally be made by each parent.

In addition to this new right, there will also be a number of other amendments to maternity, adoption, paternity and parental rights effective from the 5th April.  

Should you require any support relating to how this may affect your staff, please call us on 0131 27272769. 

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Time off work to attend spouse antenatal appointments

From 1 October 2014, a prospective father, or the spouse, civil partner or partner of a pregnant woman, can take unpaid time off to attend up to two antenatal appointments.

The employee has a statutory right to take up to six and a half hours off for each appointment, but employers can decide to allow more time than this.

The employer cannot ask for evidence of the appointment but can ask the employee for a signed declaration (which could be in electronic form) confirming:

  • that he or she:
    • is the expectant mother's spouse, civil partner or partner, or
    • the child's father;
  • that the purpose of the time off is to accompany the expectant mother to an antenatal appointment;
  • that the appointment in question is made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered nurse; and
  • the date and time of the appointment.

There is no right for the spouse or partner of a pregnant woman to take time off to attend an antenatal appointment before 1 October 2014.



Source: Reed2014

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Magenta HR Consulting Limited
The Annex, 15 Chamberlain Road, Edinburgh EH10 4DJ 

Tel.  0131 272 27 69 or 0131 285 4000
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