NEW: SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE
Mothers who are due to give birth, on or after 5 April 2015, will be able to share their maternity leave (and pay!) with their partner within the first year of the birth. They can take the leave together or in alternate ‘blocks’. The ‘additional’ paternity leave scheme is to be abolished. Fathers will still however be able to take the ‘ordinary’ two weeks paternity leave if they do not wish to participate.
The new scheme applies equally to adopters. Policies and procedures will need to be updated as soon as possible as the new regime may apply to employees who are announcing their pregnancies now.
NEW: Ante-natal RIGHTS
From 1 October 2014, fathers and partners are entitled to take unpaid time off to attend 2 ante-natal appointments for up to 6 ½ hours per each appointment. They are entitled to this as soon as their employment starts and they should not be subject to a detriment or dismissed as a result of exercising this right.
UPDATE: National Minimum Wage
From 1 October 2014, the following hourly rates will apply:
Apprentice rate: £2.73