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Employment Law Changes 2024

As an employer it’s so important to stay on top of changes in legislation, which can be hard to do when you are busy. Some of the updates can also be difficult to navigate or understand, which is why we help businesses understand what may impact them and help them communicate the changes in an easy-to-understand way.

This year has already seen a significant number of employment law updates. We’ve shared these with our email list and on our socials, but, if you missed them, below is a run down of what has changed so far in 2024.

Family Related Laws

1. Paternity Leave - 8th March

If the expected week of childbirth falls on or after 6th April 2024, fathers and partners can now split their leave into two blocks of one week at any point in the first year (52 weeks) after the birth or adoption of their child.

2. Redundancy - 6th April

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 now provides for greater protection against redundancy during pregnancy, or around adoption periods. It now includes the entire pregnancy, as well as 18 months from the first day of estimated childbirth/placement of adoption.

3. Carer’s Leave - 6th April

All employees who are unpaid carers for a dependent with long-term needs (either a friend or relative), will now receive one week (applicable to full and half-days) of unpaid leave per holiday year. This includes protection from dismissal or detriment due to having taken carer’s leave. This new legislation is likely to affect over 2 million employees, and there is strong evidence to show that it will make a significant difference to their lives.

Pay & Working Hours

1. Holiday Pay and Entitlement - January

Holiday pay is one of those pesky things that are needlessly confusing and convoluted. Here’s a quick overview of some of the changes concerning holiday pay:

  • Clearing some confusion around ‘normal remuneration’
  • Employers must now include things such as commission payments or overtime into their calculation
  • Holidays can be carried over under certain circumstances such as sick or family leave
  • Removal of COVID-19 carry-over rules; workers have until 31st March to use up any accrued holiday

Please note, though, that for workers with regular working hours, this type of model only applies to ordinary leave (5.6 weeks leave). For additional annual leave (1.6 week leave), basic rate of pay applies. So don’t forget to explain this clearly (such as in the contract or staff handbook) should you choose to use a mix of the two.

For irregular hour and part-year workers, ‘normal remuneration’ applies to both ordinary and additional leave, and there is also the option of rolled-up holiday pay.

2. Introducing rolled-up holiday pay - 1st April

A reintroduction of rolled up holiday pay as an option for workers with irregular working hours has been announced. Rolled-up holiday pay is the practice of paying employees an additional sum in respect of holiday pay each month, regardless of whether any holiday was taken during that period. 

Employers need to tell their employees if they're planning to use rolled-up holiday pay. Introducing this might involve changing the employment contract, and there are procedures an employer must follow if they're changing the terms of your contract.

3. Flexible Working - 6th April

In a post-COVID-19 world, a positive approach to flexible working arrangements is more important than ever. A new regulation around flexible hours will give employees the right to request more flexible working arrangements, such as remote work or altered working hours. This can be done regardless of the length of employment, and more changes concerning flexible working hours are likely to be rolled out in the not-so-distant future.

Other Important Law Changes

  • Changes to the penalties around illegal working have come into effect, applying to all right-to-work checks carried out from 13th February. This includes any follow-up checks required to maintain a statutory excuse. 
  • National minimum wage is increasing beyond the standard change (21 and older - £11.44/h;  18 to 20 - £8.60/h; apprentices aged 19 and under, or in their first year - £6.40/h; under 18 - £6.40/h).
  • Fair and transparent allocation of qualifying tips.
  • A reduced requirement for the election of employee representatives to consult on TUPE (transfer of undertakings).
  • More predictable terms and conditions of work for atypical contract workers, such as fixed-term, agency, or zero-hour contract workers.
  • Employers will now be in legal trouble if they don’t take active steps to prevent sexual harassment—whether an incident is yet to happen, or not.

If you would like to read about these law changes in more detail, download our free guide right here. 

And if you’d like to stay on top of any upcoming changes, subscribe to our email list here for lots of useful tips, guides, and information!