Employment Changes and Updates
Managing sickness absence
A health and work assessment and advisory service is to be introduced, offering fee occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs. The service can provide an occupational health assessment after four weeks of sickness absence. Further information is available from here
Surrogate parents eligible for adoption leave
Provided they meet the eligibility criteria parents who have a child through surrogacy will be permitted to take ordinary paternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay. Both parents will also be entitled to take unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the woman carrying the child. Statutory adoption leave and pay
The statutory adoption leave will no longer have the 26- week qualifying period, and adoption pay will be brought in line with maternity pay, which will be 90% of normal earning for the first six weeks.
Tax Free Childcare
Tax Free Childcare is to be introduced as a replacement for employer supported childcare (childcare vouchers).
The government will contribute up to 20% of the first £10000 of registered childcare costs per child, per year. This equates to a maximum of £2000 per child, per year.
The scheme will be available to people who have an annual income under £150,000 and are not receiving help with childcare via tax credits. It is expected to reach more people than the current scheme.
For further details see our Tax Free Childcare information sheet.
Winter Fuel Payment
Announced as part of the Spending Review in June 2013, it is planned that Winter Fuel Payments will be cut for those living in hot countries from Autumn 2015.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, said that the payment would be withdrawn from expats living in a European country with an average winter temperature higher than the UK.
The seven countries affected are: Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain.
This change would save the Treasury about £30m. Legislation needs to be passed before the change can be made.