The new shared parental leave and pay regime came into operation on 5 April 2015 (applying to parents of children expected to be born, or placed for adoption, on or after that date). Acas has recently published a suite of materials on the new regime, including sample policies and letter templates, available here.

In addition, a number of other minor changes to family-related rights are now in force and will require employers to amend their policies:

  • The 26 week service requirement for adoption leave has been removed, and time off for adoption appointments introduced. Statutory adoption pay now mirrors statutory maternity pay, with a higher rate for the first 6 weeks.
  • Equivalent family-related leave rights are extended to those fostering to adopt, adopting from abroad and parenting through surrogacy.
  • Unpaid parental leave is now available up until a child turns 18.
  • Additional paternity leave and pay have been abolished.

A table setting out the key facts of family-related rights and a briefing on shared parental leave are available to clients on request.

New employment tribunal compensation limits and rates of statutory benefits also apply from early April; further details are included in our blog here.

The revised Acas Code on discipline and grievance, amended to reflect case law on the right to request a companion, has now been approved by Parliament and came into effect on 11 March. See our blog for further details. Employers will need to review and update their disciplinary and grievance policies to reflect the revised Code.