2024 Employment Law Changes- Are You Prepared?

After a year of change and upheaval for organisations across the UK and Ireland we are expecting at least nine employment law changes in 2024. These changes are likely to change the employment landscape for employers and employees alike. Political…

James Richardson, author of blog about HR Trends To Expect In 2024

Blog20th Dec 2023

By James Richardson

After a year of change and upheaval for organisations across the UK and Ireland we are expecting at least nine employment law changes in 2024. These changes are likely to change the employment landscape for employers and employees alike. Political and economic factors have caused unexpected challenges and have even delayed some legislative changes we originally had expected back in 2023.

It’s so important to make yourself aware of the upcoming changes as early as possible. The year is already shaping up to be eventful. These changes are wide reaching and cover a diverse range of areas across Employment Law. The impact for employees is likely the largest we will have seen for a while. So, what changes are coming?

National Living Wage – April 2024

Significant increases will come into effect from the start of the new financial year, and the highest pay bracket has been expanded to included 21 year olds and over for the first time, pushing more over the threshold of auto-enrolment into a company pension. This will increase wages to support with the cost of living, but cause additional costs for employers who will need to consider this impact moving forward.

Holiday Pay – April 2024

Rolled up holiday pay will once again be permitted for those who work irregular hours, but only for those with a holiday year starting after 01 April 2024. The same goes for calculating pay which will be permitted with the introduction of new legislation allowing holiday pay to be calculated at the hourly rate of 12.07%, overruling recent case law.

Paternity Entitlement – April 2024

From April 2024, those seeking to take paternity leave will be permitted to split their two week entitlement into two non-consecutive periods, and the time where this leave can be taken will be extended to within 52 weeks of the birth of their child or placement for adoption.

Carer’s Leave – from April 2024

At present there is no absolute right to take time off as a carer, but this new legislation will provide employees with the ability to take one week of unpaid leave each year to support their caring responsibilities for a reasonable person.

Flexible Working – July 2024

Flexible working rights are to be expanded, evidencing further that flexibility will continue to be the expected norm in the world of work. Firstly length of service eligibility will be removed, with requests being permitted from day one. In addition the amount of time employers have to respond to any request will be reduced from three months to two months. Finally, multiple request will be accepted as the right to refuse more than one request per annum will be removed.

Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) – September 2024

Enabling those with irregular hours to request a more stable and predictable pattern of work, this new statutory right will be open to those with 26 weeks’ service. Although the request may be refused for certain reasons to be outlined in the legislation, the general understanding is that a code of practice will govern what is acceptable and employers should be working with employees to provide better working patterns wherever possible.

Protection from Redundancy – Autumn 2024

With an effective date yet to be confirmed, it is worth noting that pregnant employees will soon receive further protection to prevent their dismissal in redundancy situations. This means considering them above other employees and is effective from when they tell you about a pregnancy all the way up until 18 months following the birth of their child – so well into their return to work from maternity leave. Please note, this legislative change will also be applicable to employees coming back into the workplace following maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

Worker Protection (Amendment of EA2010) – October 2024

New rules will require all employers to take reasonable and proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the workplace. Policies and training will need to be sufficiently maintained, along with firm procedures to deal with issues and robust mechanism available for concerns to be raised. Failures may result in tribunal award uplifts of 25% to any awards if reasonable preventative measures are not taken.

Neonatal Care – April 2025

Slightly further ahead than 2024, but worth considering now. The new addition to family friendly entitlements will see those with babies admitted to neonatal care receiving up to 12 weeks of paid leave to provide some level of support in challenging circumstances.

In addition to all the above, it is also worth noting that although the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 was quashed at a parliamentary stage this year, the government do still have the option to continue reviewing and reforming EU law as needed. We will need to continue to watch this space for further developments and potential implications as and when they arise.

Some timelines are yet to be confirmed, however we will provide you with updates as soon as any become available/ if any timelines are expected to change to ensure you can stay ahead of the curve.

Ensuring your organisation is UK Employment Law compliant is so important. With the changing nature of these legislative changes it can be so difficult to ensure compliance. That’s where we come in- our dedicated HR & Employment Law specialists are on hand to provide you with support to keep you complaint.

If you have any queries about the upcoming changes or any queries about Employment law as a whole, please do not hesitate to get in contact with James Richardson, or one of our HR & Employment Law Specialists.

By James Richardson

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