2024 is set to be another busy year for employers as many employment law changes come into effect this year, with more changes expected both later in 2024 and 2025.
Below is a list of the biggest changes that we are currently aware of for 12 months. Roots HR delivered a webinar in January 2024 where we cover the below in detail, which can be viewed at https://www.rootshr.org.uk/free-resources/webinars
Flexible Working Rights
One of the most significant changes in 2024 is the expansion of flexible working rights. The traditional 9-to-5 workday is becoming a relic of the past as employees seek greater flexibility to facilitate a better work-life balance. The amended regulations will change both the right to request flexibility and the process to be followed to handle requests.
Key changes include:
- Employees can make a request from their 1st day of employment.
- Employees can now make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period.
- Requests must be dealt with by employers within two months of receipt of a request (including the handling of any potential appeal)
- Employers are not able to refuse a request until they have ‘consulted’ with the employee.
These changes come into effect in April 2024 and aim to strike a balance between business needs and employee wellbeing.
The National Minimum Wage is going up in 2024 with the largest ever increase in cash terms. This change aims to address issues related to income inequality and improve the standard of living for low-wage workers. As of 1 April 2024, the National Minimum Wage will increase to:
- 21 and over: £11.44 (from £10.42)
- 18 to 20: £8.60 (from £7.49)
- Under 18: £6.40 (from £5.28)
- Apprentice: £6.40 (from £5.28)
Most notably, the age bracket for 21- and 22-year-olds disappears and is included in the highest bracket of the National Minimum Wage (known as the National Living Wage) from this year onwards.
Annual Leave (“Rolled Up” Holiday Pay)
From 1 April 2024, employers will be able to pay part-year of irregular hours workers an additional sum in respect of holiday pay in each pay period, regardless of whether workers take their holiday in that period.
This is known as “rolled-up holiday pay”. For leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024, there is a new accrual method for irregular hours workers and part-year workers. They are entitled to up to 5.6 weeks of paid statutory holiday leave per year, calculated based on normal salary earned using the 12.07% accrual method.
Employers opting for rolled-up holiday pay must ensure that it is calculated at least at 12.07% of the worker’s total pay in each pay period.
Carer’s Leave comes into force on 6 April 2024. This is a new statutory leave entitlement that grants up to one week of unpaid carers leave within a 12-month period (pro rate for part-time staff), to employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need. The leave can be taken from half a day up to and including one whole week and this statutory entitlement will be a day one right for employees.
Extended Redundancy Protection for Family Leave
Current protections from redundancy for those who are pregnant, or on family leave, will be extended as follows:
- Pregnant employees will be protected from the point of notifying their employer that they are pregnant (where this notification is on or after 6 April 2024), including where the pregnancy has already ended prior to the notification.
- Where the employee is not entitled to statutory maternity leave, for example where the employee suffers a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy, the protection lasts from the notification to two weeks after the end of the pregnancy.
- For those taking statutory maternity leave, which ends on or after 6 April 2024, an additional protected period runs from the end of that leave until the date 18 months after the date of childbirth.
- For those taking statutory adoption leave, ending on or after 6 April 2024, the additional protected period ends 18 months after the child’s placement (or the child’s entry into Great Britain if adopting from overseas).
- For those who have not taken maternity or adoption leave but have taken 6 or more consecutive weeks of shared parental leave starting on or after 6 April 2024, the additional protected period runs until 18 months after the date of the child’s birth or placement.
Changes to Parental Pay
The Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024 will apply in all cases where the expected week of childbirth falls on or after 6 April 2024. The new regulations will allow paternity leave to be split into two blocks of one week at any point in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of their child. The notice period required for each period of leave will be shortened to 28 days, or four weeks.
Changes to TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)
For TUPE transfers taking place on or after 1 July 2024, small employers with fewer than 50 employees or those employers that are proposing to transfer fewer than 10 employees will be able to consult directly with transferring employees if there are no existing employee representatives.
It is anticipated that this will simplify the consultation process, saving organisations time and money in the process.
Zero Hours and Agency Workers
We expect the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act to come into force in in Autumn 2024. This will give zero-hour/casual and agency workers a new statutory right to request a more predictable working pattern.
These are just a few of the changes coming in 2024. It’s important for both employers and employees to stay informed about these updates to ensure compliance and fair compensation. Stay tuned for more updates on UK employment law changes in 2024 and beyond!
Still have queries?
We are happy to talk to you on the changes that are happening if you have any questions left or would like some support in changing your policies. Please do call us on 01562 840060 or email at [email protected] for further information and support.
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