The New Year will see a host of changes in employment law which company chiefs should keep a keen eye on, according to the Forum of Private Business.
A new law which requires businesses with 58 employees or more on their Paye system to automatically enrol their workers into a suitable pension from January 1 is among the key areas of change facing employers this year, according to the FPB.
Company bosses should also prepare themselves for the impact of the shared parental leave and pay which will be awarded to parents of children born on or after 5 April 2015.
In addition, unpaid parental leave will be extended to cover parents up to a child’s 18th birthday; and maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase to £139.58 a week.
Statutory sick pay will also rise to £88.45 a week.
Jo Bostock, business adviser at the FPB, said: “Unfortunately, the regulatory burden only looks set to increase over the next 12 months with the introduction of key changes.
“Red tape may be the bugbear of many small business owners, but getting it wrong could prove costly, time-consuming and damaging to the business’s reputation.”
From July, employers will also be required to take into account overtime and commission when calculating holiday pay.
The FPB also higlights a European Court ruling in December, which stipulated that health issues that are a direct consequence of obesity could be classed as a disability. The forum said: “The ruling is automatically binding under UK law, which could leave businesses open to potential claims or being required to make reasonable adjustments.”
Another notable area of interest is the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which could introduce tougher penalties for non-payment of the national minimum wage.
Mark Hibbitt, director of Sovereign Independent Financial Advisers in Bristol, said: “For us as a small business, auto-enrolment is the requirement that stands out. Employers will need to ensure that workers are in a pension scheme fairly soon.”