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Employment Law Changes – April 2024

Wednesday, May-22, 2024

Employment Law Changes - April 2024

Spring is seeing a raft of changes in employment law. These changes mainly began on 6 April and can be summarised as follows:

  1. The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 create a new statutory entitlement to unpaid carer’s leave for employees who have a dependent with a long-term care need. A period of one week may be taken in either individual days or half days or a block of one week. Employees should give notice and, whilst an employer cannot decline a request, it can be postponed if they consider this is necessary for operational requirements.
  2. The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 increase the period during which leave can be taken to within 52 weeks of the child’s birth or placement (adoption leave). It can now be taken in separate blocks of one week and there is an adjustment to the notice requirement.
  3. The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 came into force and remove the eligibility requirements of 26 weeks’ continuous service for making a flexible working request. It is now a day one right with changes to the statutory procedure which must be followed. The number of requests which can be made in a 12-month period has increased from one to two. Employers are also required to consult with employees before rejecting a request. There is a helpful Acas code of practice.
  4. If you are thinking about holidays already, there are new rules relating to those who work irregular hours and part year workers which will apply to any leave year beginning on or after 1 April 2024. The Department for Business and Trade has updated its guidance.
  5. There are increases to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage (from 1 April). Increases in respect of Employment Tribunal compensation came in to force on 6 April.
  6. Last but not least, there are now additional redundancy protections by virtue of The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024. The period of protection after returning to work from family-related leave is extended until 18 months after the expected week of childbirth or date of birth or, with adoption, the child’s placement, or date of entry into Great Britain. The Regulations also introduce protection during pregnancy.

This is always a good time to have a look at your contracts and policies and to update where necessary.

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