As we highlighted in our previous post (What to expect in employment law in 2024), 2023 saw the introduction of several significant employment legislative changes. Just to remind you of the changes due to come into effect in April.

Holiday Leave and Pay:

Provisions for irregular hours and part-year workers apply to leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024. These provisions will affect how holiday pay accrues and is carried forward for workers with irregular hours or part-year employment and will allow employers the option to pay rolled-up holiday pay.

Carer’s Leave:

From 6 April 2024, employees will have the right to unpaid leave to care for dependents with long-term care needs, with specific notice provisions and protection against detriment or dismissal.

Rights for Employees on Statutory Leave in Redundancy Situations:

There are amendments to maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave regulations apply to situations where the statutory maternity leave period ends on or after 6 April 2024.  This extends the period over which there is priority for being offered any alternative employment.

Flexible Working:

From 6 April 2024, the requirement for employees to have 26 weeks of continuous employment before requesting flexible working will no longer apply, allowing requests from day one of employment.  Employees will also be entitled to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period and the employer must notify the worker of the outcome within two months rather than three months.

Paternity Leave:

Changes to paternity leave legislation to grant fathers and partners more flexibility in taking their entitlement to paternity leave will apply to those with children expected to be born or placed for adoption on or after 6 April 2024. The changes will allow the employee to choose to take either one or two week single period of leave or two non-consecutive periods of leave of one week.  It also allows employees to take the leave within a period of leave and changes the notification of the date of leave to 28 days.

Changes to National Minimum Wage (NMW):

From 1 April 2024 there will be the usual increases in the hourly rates of NMW.  The Government has also announced that all workers that the NMW band for 21–22-year-olds will be abolished, with all employees aged 21 and over entitled to an increased National Living Wage of £11.44.

Changes to compensation limits and statutory payments:

From 6 April 2024 there will be an increase to the compensation limits and for certain tribunal awards and other statutory payments. The new limits will increase the limit on a week’s pay from £643 to £700 (which will impact the level of statutory redundancy payment and basic unfair dismissal award); and the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal is increased from £105,707 to £115,115.

What should employers do?

These changes reflect a comprehensive overhaul of employment legislation, with implications for both employers and employees.  For a reminder of the steps that employers should be taking please see our checklist (Preparing for new employment laws in 2024: an HR checklist | Global Workplace Insider).

Thank you to Salma Khatab for help in drafting this blog post.