Contracting - A look back at 2014

With 2014 drawing to a close, One Click Umbrella takes a look back on what this year has brought for the contracting and umbrella employment world.

Changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)
Regulations 2006 

31st January 2014

The government made changes to (TUPE) proceedings at the beginning of the year in order to make the transfers of businesses easier for all concerned. Under TUPE the new employer is required to comply with all the terms and conditions of the contract agreed between the employee and the previous employer.

Basic pay for unfair dismissal increased

6th April 2014

The law saw statutory redundancy pay and the basic award for unfair dismissal increased from £450 to £464

Rise in statutory sick pay and statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay

6th April 2014

Statutory sick pay was increased to £87.55 and statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay increased to £138.18.

Introduction of penalties for Employment Tribunal claims

6th April 2014

Employment Law now states that if an Employment Tribunal rules that an employer has breached the rights of their employee and considers that breach has an "aggravating factor", then the Tribunal may order the employer to pay a penalty to the Secretary of State. The penalty issued can be anywhere between £100 and £5,000 but may be halved if paid within 21 days. 

Changes in right to request flexible working hours 

30th June 2014

From this date, every employee with more than six months of employment was granted the right to request flexible working hours - previously the right was limited to carers and those with dependant children. The new ruling determined that employees can now expect that their request for flexible working hours be considered "in a reasonable manner" by employers, despite the reasons for refusing remain unchanged.

Right for partners to attend ante-natal appointments

1st October 2014

From this date, changes to the law meant that partners of pregnant women or the father of an unborn child would be entitled to exercise his/her right to attend up to two ante-natal appointments. Agency workers will have this right provided they have fulfilled the 12 week qualification period. 

Rise in National Minimum Wage rates

1st October 2014

New pay rates for the National Minimum Wage were increased from October 1st. The changes applied are as follows;
 

Year21 and over18 to 20Under 18Apprentice*
2014 £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68

*This rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.