Employment Law changes from 6th April 2024

Employment Law 28th March 2024

We’ve set out below the key employment law changes that are coming into effect from 6th April 2024.

Flexible Working

The basic structure of flexible working requests remains the same, ie, the employee makes a request, the request is considered, the employer responds to the request.  However, the following changes will take effect from April 2024.

  • Flexible working requests become a day-one right; previously employees had to have 26 weeks’ service before making a Flexible Working Request
  • Employers must respond within 2 months – previously this was 3 months
  • Employees no longer need to provide suggestions on how the request could be accommodated in the business, although you can ask for voluntary suggestions
  • Employees can make 2 flexible working requests per year – previously they could only make 1
  • Employers must consult with employees prior to rejecting a request

Carer’s Leave

This is a new right for employees to take unpaid time off work if they have caring responsibilities.

  • A day-one right for all employees
  • Employees must have one or more dependant, ie spouse, civil partner, child, parent, or other dependant who need care due to a disability, old age, illness or injury
  • Employees can request one weeks’ unpaid leave, for the purpose of providing care, over a 12-month period
  • Carer’s leave does not have to be taken as a whole week, it can be split into days or half days
  • Notice must be provided for time off. Twice the amount of notice to the time being requested must be given by the employee – ie someone requesting 3 days off must provide 6 days’ notice in advance
  • Employers must grant the request unless it would cause undue disruption. Requests can only be postponed for a maximum of one month from the request date

Paternity Leave

Employees have a statutory right to request paternity leave when their partner has a baby, adopts a child, or has a baby through a surrogacy arrangement.

  • Employees need to give 28 days’ notice (4 weeks) to take paternity leave – previous notification period was 15 weeks prior to the expected week of childbirth
  • Employees are eligible for two weeks statutory paternity leave; this can be taken as two consecutive weeks or as two separate weeks – previously leave had to be taken as one single week or two consecutive weeks
  • Leave can be taken at any time in the 52 weeks following the birth of a child – previously it had to be taken within 56 days of birth

Redundancy Rights relating to pregnancy and family leave

Under the current law, employees on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave already have special protection in a redundancy situation.

From 6 April 2024, this legislation extends that priority status to pregnant employees and those who have recently returned from maternity, adoption leave and shared parental leave within 18 months of the child’s birth – ie protection continues until the child is 18 months old by giving them priority status for redeployment opportunities in instances of redundancies.

Holiday pay

With effect from 6th April ‘rolled up’ holiday pay will become a legal way of calculating holiday pay for irregular hours and part-year workers. Currently, holiday pay entitlement for these categories of workers is calculated using their average pay over the previous 52 weeks in which they actually worked.

Rolled up holiday pay is where workers receive a higher basic pay rate to include their holiday pay entitlement.  It works on the following principles:

  • It is calculated by increasing a worker’s basic pay in line with their annual leave entitlement.
  • A percentage of 12.07% is used when calculating holiday entitlement for workers who are entitled to the statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks (28 days) of annual leave per year
  • The provisions regarding rolled up holiday pay and holiday accrual for part-year and irregular hours workers apply to holiday years which begin on or after 1stApril 2024.  For holiday years that run from January to December, this provision will apply from 1st January 2025.

As always, if you have any queries or want to talk about how these changes will affect your business please get in touch with one of our team via our socials or by calling us on 01604 763494.

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