The maximum compensatory award in dismissals will increase to £76,574 (from £74,200) and the cap on a week’s pay increases to £464 (from £450)

SSP, SMP rates:
Type of payment or recovery Figures to use 2014-15
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) – weekly rate for first six weeks 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) – weekly rate for remaining weeks £138.18 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP) and Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) – weekly rate £138.18 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) – weekly rate £138.18 or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is lower
SMP/OSPP/ASPP/SAP – proportion of your payments you can recover from HMRC 92% if your total Class 1 NICs (both employee and employer contributions) are above £45,000 for the previous tax year
103% if your total Class 1 NICs for the previous tax year are £45,000 or lower
The record keeping requirements under the Statutory Sick Pay scheme are abolished, allowing employers to keep records that are suitable to their organisation. Monitoring and recording sickness absences, as well as the pay received, however is always very sensible.

Employment tribunals will have the power to order that losing employers pay a financial penalty (to the Secretary of State not the claimant). The penalty will be 50% of any financial compensation awarded to the claimant (subject to a minimum of £100 and maximum of £5,000). It would appear that if 50% of the penalty is paid within 21 days, the balance does not need to be paid which seems bizarre. It applies to cases issued on or after 6 April 2014. Employers should not be concerned yet as it will take some time for cases to may their way through the system. Penalties are not automatic and can only be ordered where there are ‘aggravating features’ which incidentally are not defined in the legislation.