January

  • Holiday pay – regulations come into force placing a two year limit on claims for unfair reduction from wages claims in respect of holiday pay – will apply to claims presented on or after 1 July 2015. The regulations also implicitly state that the right to paid holiday is not incorporated as a term in employment contracts.

 April

  • The new shared parental leave scheme is now in place for parents whose babies were due on or after 5 April 2015, or who had children placed for adoption on or after that date.
  • Adoption rights – the 26 week qualifying period for adoption leave was removed and statutory adoption pay was brought in to line with statutory maternity pay; adopters can take paid time off for some ‘adoption appointments’.
  • The right to take parental leave was extended to parents of any child under the age of 18 – from 5 April.

 May

  • ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts came into force on 26 May.

 September

  • The European Court ruled that the time spent by mobile workers – that is, those who have no fixed place of work – travelling between home and their first and last place of work each day counts as ‘working ‘time’ under the WTD and WTR.
  •  The case was brought by a group of technicians employed to install and maintain security                equipment at the premises of their firm’s customers.
  • The new legislation only applies to what counts as working time under the European Working Time Directive and the UK Working Time Regulations, it does not govern pay. Under the UK’s National Minimum Wage Act and Regulations, the general position is that travel time between home and a place of work is excluded from the obligations to pay the NMW, including for mobile workers.

October

  • National Minimum Wage rates – increased on 1 October: the standard adult rate to £6.70, the development rate for those aged 18-20 to £5.30, the young workers rate for those aged 16-17 to £3.87, and the apprentice rate to £3.30.

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