Employment Law Changes 2024

Article by Danielle Dear

2024 is not just the year of the dragon it is also the year of employment law changes. With most of these changes coming into effect in April 2024.

We have researched and summarised these changes for you so you don’t have to.

1. Flexible working – Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023

Effective from 6 April 2024 all employees will have the statutory right to make a flexible working request from day one of employment, currently employees need to have 26 weeks continuous service to exercise this right.

In addition to this, the employees right to only make 1 request in any 12-month period will be increased to 2 requests in any 12-month period.

The last change to this regulation is the time period in which employers need to respond to a request, has been reduced from 3 months to 2 months, including any appeals.

2. Carers leave – Carers Leave Regulations 2024

New regulations will come into effect on 6 April 2024 giving employees an entitlement to request up to 1 weeks unpaid leave to care for and/or arrange care for a dependent with long-term care needs.

This will be a day one right.

The 1 weeks leave can be taken in a 12-month period as either half days, full days or a full week however, the employee will be required to comply with set notice requirements to request the leave.

Employers may not be able to decline the leave but it can be postponed, for business reasons, by up to 1 month from the requested leave date.

3. Paternity leave – Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024

For babies due on or after 7th April 2024, employees who met the eligibility criteria will be able to request paternity leave as 2 weeks together or 2 separate blocks of one week.

The only other change to Paternity leave is the time employees have to take this leave has been increase from 56 days to 52 weeks from the actual birth of the child or placement.

4. Maternity and redundancy protection – Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024

 I Before you can make employees who are pregnant or returning from maternity, adoption or shared parental redundant, redundancy protection regulations will require an employer to give that employee first refusal on a suitable alternative vacancy where one exists. This gives employees on these types of leave priority access to redeployment opportunities over other redundant employees.

 This protection covers the follows periods:

Type : Pregnancy

Protection (as above) : From the date the employee informs the employer they are pregnant and while they are pregnant

Effective from : Pregnancies announced on or after 6 April 2024

Type : Maternity leave

Protection (as above) : For 18 months from the first day of the EWC or 18 months from the child’s date of birth if notified to the employer in writing.

Effective from : When the leave ends on or after 6 April 2024

Type : Adoption leave

Protection (as above) : For 18 months from the date of placement

Effective from : When the leave ends on or after 6 April 2024

Type : Shared parental leave

Protection (as above) : For 18 months from the birth/placement provided the employee has taken a period of at least 6 continuous weeks leave or protection during the leave only (if less than 6 continuous weeks leave is taken)

Effective from : When the 6 continuous weeks of leave starts on or after 6 April 2024

5. Holidays for irregular hours and part-year workers – Working Time Regulations 1998

In 2019 the Harpur v Brazel case shook employment law with many employers being vocal about their displeasure with the ruling. Due to this, the Government carried out a consultation into holiday entitlement for irregular hours and part-year workers, the outcome of this consultation was to make the following changes to the Working Time Regulations.

 The changes to the regulations came into effect on 1 January 2024 but some changes will not be implemented until the beginning of the holiday leave year on or after 1 April 2024.

Next Steps

Further guidance, policies and templates on all of the above will be made available on YourHR.guide either on or before 6 April 2024.

If you are a user of YourHR.space, the above changes will automatically be actioned on YourHR.space and changes communicated to employees prior to or on the date the change takes place.

 If you need guidance or advice on these matters or any other HR or employment law matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email [email protected].

Article by Danielle Dear

[email protected]


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