Employment Law - 2015's major changes at a glance...

As the end of 2015 gets close we take a look back through the major changes that were made to employment law and also changes on the horizon for 2016.

Employment Law - 2015


  • From 5 April 2015, the right to take parental leave was extended to parents of any child under the age of 18.
  • The shared parental leave scheme came into 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 were implemented and brought in line with other family friendly rights; including taking paid time off for some adoption appointments.


  • A penalty of up to £20,000 for breaching the national minimum wage rules came into force on 26 May.
  • After much debate, a ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts came into force on 26 May.
  • A new regime for English apprenticeships came into force on 26 May.
  • The Fit for Work service was implemented by the government to offer free occupational health assistance for employees, employers and GPs after four weeks of sickness absence. Fitforwork.org


  • Regulations came into force following the decision in the Bear Scotland case, which placed a two year limitation on claims for holiday pay arrears.

Changes on the 2016 horizon…

  • The National Living Wage will be set at £7.20 per hour and implemented in April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over.
  • There will be a requirement for employers who employ more than 250 employees to publish their differences in gender pay.
  • Final staging date for small employer

Information provided by MSL