Quick Guidance

Guidance

This information has been prepared to offer quick general guidance and does not purport to provide legal or professional advice. A definitive answer to a query should always be sought from a Qualified Employment Law Specialist prior to undertaking any action. For further information contact our Specialists.

It is unlawful to discriminate against a job seeker, trainee or employee on the grounds of their age.  The Equality Act 2010 also states that there is no upper age limit on employees who can claim for unfair dismissal or who are entitled to a redundancy payment.

Employers are required to ensure that they have policies which are designed to prevent discrimination in the following areas:

  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Determination of pay
  • Selection for promotion
  • Discipline & grievances
  • Training & Development
  • Responding to bullying & harassment

Ordinary Maternity Leave (OML)

Qualification: Subject to appropriate notification, an Employee is entitled to ordinary maternity leave irrespective of their length of service.

Entitlement: 26 weeks Ordinary Maternity Leave.

Notification Procedures: To qualify for OML an Employee must notify the Employer in writing, no later than the end of the 15th week before the expected week of confinement of their pregnancy, the expected week of childbirth (enclosing their MAT B1 Form) and the date upon which they wish their OML to commence.

Subject to correct notification, OML can commence at any time after the 11th week prior to the expected week of childbirth.

Additional Maternity Leave (AML)

Qualification: An Employee is entitled to additional maternity leave irrespective of their length of service.

Entitlement: A further period of 26 weeks additional maternity leave which will commence immediately following the end of the period of ordinary maternity leave.

Notification Procedures: Where an Employee has met the required notification for OML, unless otherwise informed, the Employer will calculate and notify the Employee’s return date on the assumption that AML is being taken.

Rate for Workers aged 21 and Over:
£11.44 per hour from 1st April 2024 (an increase from £10.18 for workers aged 21 & 22, an increase from £10.42 for workers aged 23+). 

Development Rate for Workers aged 18-20 Inclusive:
£8.60 per hour from 1st April 2024 (an increase from £7.49).

Rate for 16 and 17 year olds above Compulsory School Leaving Age:
£6.40 per hour from 1st April 2024 (an increase from £5.28).

Apprentice Minimum Wage:
£6.40 per hour for apprentices under 19, and for apprentices 19 and over in their FIRST YEAR of apprenticeship (an increase from £5.28).

 

QUALIFICATION
Eligibility for Parental Leave is dependent on Employees having at least one year’s continuous service with the Employer. Service with a previous Employer, since 15 December 1998 onwards, also counts as qualifying service for Parental Leave. There is no need to re-qualify if an Employee moves Employer.

Employees who have parental responsibilities for a child, including legal guardians, may take Parental Leave.

Where the Employer employs both parents, they are each entitled to take leave but it must be taken separately.

ENTITLEMENT
Parental Leave of a maximum of thirteen weeks may be taken during the first five years of the child’s life. This is 18 weeks for a child who is entitled to a disability living allowance.

Parental Leave must be taken in multiples of one week and a maximum of four weeks can be taken in any one year. Leave can be taken in multiples of one day in respect of a child entitled to a disability living allowance.

Employees who adopt a child are also entitled to the leave. The child must be under 18 and the right to leave lasts for five years from the date the child is adopted or until the child reaches the age of 18.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES
Employees must give at least 21 days notice of any intention to take Parental Leave. If Employees are intending to take four weeks, the notice period is extended to eight weeks.

The Employer reserves the right to postpone any Parental Leave for up to six months where it considers that the business would be particularly disrupted if the leave were taken at the time requested. However, the leave cannot be postponed where the Employee gives notice to take it immediately after the child is born or placed for adoption.

QUALIFICATION
Since the 6th April 2003, Employees, subject to qualification, are entitled to receive Paternity Leave when their child is born or they adopt a child.

To qualify for Paternity Leave the Employee must have 26 weeks service ending with the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. In the circumstances of adoption, the Employee must be continuously employed for a period of not less than 26 weeks ending with the week in which the child’s adopter is notified of having been matched with a child.

The Employee is expected to be either the father of the child or married to [the civil partner] or the partner of the child’s mother and expects to have the main responsibility for the upbringing of the child.

ENTITLEMENT
An Employee is entitled to take a single block of either one week’s leave or two consecutive weeks.

This entitlement must be used within 56 days of the child being born or adopted.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES
The Employee must notify the Employer, in writing, of their intention to take Paternity Leave. The notification must be received by the Employer no later than the 15th week prior to the expected week of childbirth or in the case of adoption, no later than 7 days after the date on which the adopter is notified of having been matched with the child. Failure to notify within the determined time period could lead to the Employee losing their right to take Paternity Leave.

The statutory scheme is based on the Employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay as follows:

  • Half a weeks pay for each completed year of service up to and including the age of 21.
  • One week’s pay for each completed year of service from the ages of 22 to 40 inclusive.
  • One and a half week’s pay for each completed year of service from the age of 41 onwards.

However limitations are placed on each of these factors:

  • Length of service – Only a maximum of 20 years service can be used in calculating the redundancy payment.
  • Weekly pay – There is a maximum level on the amount of a week’s pay. This level is currently £700 per week.

All Employees have the right to take a reasonable period of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. Examples of circumstances under which Employees may take time off are:

  • To provide assistance on an occasion when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted.
  • To make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant, who is ill or injured.
  • To deal with the death of a dependant.
  • To deal with an unexpected disruption or breakdown in care arrangements for a dependant.
  • To deal with an unexpected incident involving the Employee’s child during school hours.

Current limits from 6/4/24:

Unfair Dismissal:

Basic Award – £21,000
Compensatory Award – £115,115

Discrimination:

Sex, Race, Sexual Orientation, Religion or Belief and Age – £Unlimited

Breach of Contract: – £25,000

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