10 Employment law changes in 2024
There are so many changes in Employment law for 2024, ranging from the first day right to request flexible working, to the introduction of rolled-up holiday pay, TUPE, and of course a whole list of family changes.
In our new article we take you through the employment law changes that as an Employer and your HR team need to be prepared for in the coming months.
Whilst these are due for employment law in 2024, they are in an attempt to keep up with modern employment practices and make the workplace fairer.
Below are some of the key areas in legislation coming into force, we also have included the dates they go live.
Let’s take a look:
1. Changes to flexible and predictable working
Coming into force on 6 April 2024 are changes to flexible working. Under the Act (Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023), Employees will have the right to request flexible working from day one of employment (rather than after completing 26 weeks which is the current position).
Additionally, Employees will also be able to make 2 requests in any 12-month period, (a change from one), Employees will no longer have to explain the effect of the change, (a change from having to do so), and Finally, Employers will have to decide on a request within 2 months (a reduction from 3 months).
The significant changes are being introduced to make flexible working more accessible, and to remove barriers for doing so. It is worth noting that the reasons why as an Employer you can refuse a request remain unchanged.
We advise all Employers to have a flexible working policy in place to ensure that the correct process is followed when requests are made. For those already with a policy in place, we strongly urge you review and update it in time for the changes.
2. Changes to workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023
Due to come into effect in September 2024 is the new statutory right for workers, covering workers and agency workers to request a more predictable working pattern.
This will be relevant for workers whose current working patterns are uncertain in terms of the days, hours, or times they work. At this stage we understand the qualifying period for this right will be 26 weeks’ service, however, workers will not need to have worked continuously, this will capture seasonal, casual workers.
Despite not being finalised we believe the procedure to make a request will be similar to a flexible working request, in writing, and as an Employer you can refuse on certain grounds.
3. Increases to the national minimum wage (NMW)
We heard about this, and it was confirmed in the Chancellors Autumn statement, these are the significant increases and changes to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) rates. See below for the increases:
|New (1 April 2024)
|Increase £ + %
|NLW – 21 years and above
|£1.02 @ 9.8%
|NMW – 18 years to 20 years
|£1.11 @ 14.8%
|NMW – 16 years to 17 years
|£1.12 @ 21.2%
|£1.12 @ 21.2%
You will note here that the NLW will apply to individuals 21+ which is a change from previous years where the NLW applied to those 23+.
All rates will be live and applicable from 1 April 2024.
As an Employer you must ensure the correct wage payments are made (these are the minimum), individuals have the right to bring a claim to tribunal if minimum payments are breached.
4. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
Coming into force on 6 April 2024, the act expands the current laws protecting pregnant Employees, those on, or returning from, maternity, shared parental, and adoption leave, and facing redundancy.
Currently, employees on maternity, shared parental, and adoption leave have enhanced protections in redundancy situations, including the right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy over other employees at risk, if one is available. In the change the act expands this protection to include pregnant Employees, from the moment they notify their Employer of the pregnancy, and for up to 18 months after childbirth.
This is the first of a couple of family-focused changes, in an aim to make the workplace fair for families.
5. Carer’s Leave Act 2023
The second and coming into force on the same date – 6 April 2024, will grant a new entitlement of 1 week of unpaid leave annually for Employees who care for dependants with long term needs.
Notably, this right to leave will be available to all Employees from their first day of employment.
To clarify long term needs” is defined as:
- anyone with a condition that meets the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010
- illness or injury (physical or mental) that requires or is likely to require care for more than three months
- old age
as a reminder, a dependant for these purposes will be considered to be:
- spouse/civil partner
- child or parent
- someone who lives in the same household as the employee (other than as a tenant or lodger)
- someone who reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care
6. Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023
We mentioned 3, here is the third – Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 although, it isn’t due to come onto force until April 2025. This will grant parents of newborn babies who are hospitalised in their first 28 days of life for 7 days, or more, the right to take neonatal leave and pay for up to 12 weeks.
We will keep you updated on this change in the coming months.
7. Protection from harassment
A little later in the year, coming into force in October 2024, we will see amendments to the Equality Act 2010.
The act will introduce a duty on you as an Employer to take “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment of your Employees. In a nutshell, as an Employer you will have a ‘new’, and proactive duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and the aim of this legislation is to place greater responsibility on you as the Employer to make your workplace safer for all.
Once the changes coming into force, if sexual harassment cases reach an employment tribunal, the tribunal will have the power to uplift compensation by up to 25% if the Employer is found to have failed to take “reasonable steps”.
We will keep you updated on this one, in particular what the “reasonable steps” will be.
8. New accrual system to calculate holiday pay at 12.07% and rolled up holidays
Calculating annual leave and payments – Many will have heard of the recent case Harper v Brazel in the Supreme Court the ruling made the calculation of holiday pay for irregular, and part-year workers more complicated and expensive for Employers. The government is overruling that decision and reinstating the principle previously and commonly used, the change will introduce new legislation permitting holiday pay and annual leave to be calculated at the hourly rate of 12.07%.Previously, the calculation method was a reference period, it is no doubt this was/is not practical, especially when hours, days can be variable. As an Employer you will now have discretion to choose whether to calculate holiday entitlements by way of a reference period or by applying a rate of 12.07% to the workers’ earnings during any pay period.
Rolled up holiday pay – this has been unlawful since a European Court of Justice case ruling in 2006, and on the basis, it would discourage workers from taking their statutory holiday entitlement. Rolling up holiday pay means as an Employer you pay workers an additional sum on top of their hourly rate of pay, this is instead of the worker taking time off work.
The new change for employers, is the introduction of new legislation giving you the Employer the option to use rolled up holiday pay. This change will be limited to workers with irregular hours or who work part of the year.
The change comes timely and will apply to Employers with holiday years starting on 1 April 2024.
9. TUPE consultation obligations for smaller scale transfers
Changes are afoot for smaller scale TUPE transfers; this applies to transfers occurring on or after 1 July 2024. In this change as an Employer, you will no longer be required to allow Employees to elect Employee representatives for the purpose of complying with obligations to inform and consult about the transfer.
Applicable where there are no current Employee representatives in place and to TUPE transfers in the following:
- an Employer has less than 50 Employees, regardless of the size of the transfer
- proposed transfer includes less than 10 Employees, regardless of the size of the Employee
10. Fair distribution/allocation of tips and service charges
This new legislation is on expected to come into effect in May 2024, this will require Employers to ensure all tips, gratuities and service charges are allocated fairly and transparently between Employees. In addition, a requirement for the Employer to have a written policy on how the Employer deals with tips, gratuities, and service charges. Finally, as an Employer record keeping will be required and for 3 years.
How can we help you?
As the Employment law changes loom for 2024 we want to assure you we are here to assist with the changes, we are a team of highly experienced HR Consultants who can manage and assist you in any capacity, we have the relevant skills and knowledge to support you, we can work with you on a retained basis or for any length of time, why not contact us for a confidential no obligation chat. 0333 006 9489 or email us at [email protected]
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