Key employment changes in 2015

The government has announced some key changes which will be implemented by the end of this year and which will have an impact on employment:

  • The Fit for Work service which is aimed at assisting employers and employees to manage long term absences from work is currently only available in Sheffield and the area of Wales covered by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, as part of a trial. However, the government has announced that this service will now become available to employers and employees nationally from autumn this year (2015).   
  • The Education and Skills Act 2008 introduced a requirement for all young people to participate in some form of education or training until they reach a certain age. When this was introduced the age limit was 17 years old, but this limit will be raised to 18 years old from 26th June 2015.
  • The Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 which will be implemented on 1st July 2015, prohibits any holiday pay claims going back more than 2 years prior to the time it is presented to the employment tribunal.  Currently, under the Working Time Regulations 1998, a claim for unlawful holiday pay deductions, in breach of contract, can go back for a period up to 6 years.  This will no longer be possible after 1st July 2015.
  • The new Tax-Free Childcare scheme will be available from autumn 2015 and will entitle working parents to 20 per cent refund of their childcare costs (up to £10,000) where:

a)      the parents are working and earning at least £50 per week but no more than £150,000 per year for each parent and;

b)      the children are under the age of 12 (or 17 if the child is disabled).

  • Finally, the government has announced that the national minimum wage will increase by 3 per cent to a new rate of £6.70 per hour from October 2015. The new rates are as follows:


Rate per hour

21 and over






Apprentices under 19 (or over 19 in the first year of the apprenticeship)