Changes on the way in 2015, firms warned

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An employment law expert is warning businesses to be aware of a range of upcoming changes to the law affecting the way staff can take family-related leave and sickness absence.

Claire Haworth, solicitor in the Employment team at Lancashire law firm Napthens, reveals that from April this year, the rules governing adoption leave will change, meaning employees will no longer be required to have a qualifying length of service before they can take such leave.

They will also have the right to time off to attend adoption appointments, and there are also proposals to bring adoption pay into line with maternity pay. Also, the right to take unpaid parental leave will be extended to all parents of children up to the age of 18.

Currently parents can take a set amount of unpaid leave only until their child is five years old or 18 years old if they are disabled.

Finally, the Government is set to introduce a Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service.

Claire Haworth said: “It’s always important for employers to be aware of updates to employment laws, and 2015 brings with it a number of important changes.

“Family-related leave and sickness absence are subjects that are particularly close to most people’s hearts, and both managers and staff should be updated on the new rights so there is no confusion following their introduction. Employers should also ensure that any relevant policies and procedures are revised.”