So, after a few years of extraordinarily little change in the Employment Law world other than those derived from Case Law, 2024 is set to see quite a few changes across a few different regulations. Some are confirmed and others are still in the parliamentary process. This blog covers those employment law changes we know are well on their way to coming into effect:
Annual changes to statutory rates
From 1st April 2024 minimum wage rates will increase as follows:
- Workers aged 21 and over – increase to £11.44
- Workers aged 18 to 20 – from £7.49 to £8.60
- Workers aged 16 to 17 – from £5.28 to £6.40
- The apprentice rate for apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship, will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.
- Accommodation offset rate will increase to £9.99
Statutory Sick Pay increases to £116.75 per week.
Statutory Pay for maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption, and parental bereavement increases to £184.03.
The minimum average earning threshold will remain at £123 per week, which is the average amount of earnings needed to trigger the statutory payments.
Amendment to the Working Time Regulations
The legislation is likely to take effect from 1st April 2024 and impacts the following:
- Holiday pay – the aim is to simplify the holiday pay calculations by making rolled-up holiday pay £12.07% of pay) lawful for part-year workers and those who work irregular hours.
- Holiday carryover – if a worker is unable to take their annual leave due to being on family related leave, all annual leave not used is now able to be carried over to the next holiday year.
- Working time – removing the requirement to keep detailed records of working hours and rest breaks for all staff.
The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations
Effective from 6th April 2024, the main change is that employees will have the right to request flexible working arrangements from their first day of employment (instead of after 6 months’ service). Employers will also need to consult with the employee and allow the employee up to two requests in any 12-month period.
The requirement for the employee to set out how the employer deals with challenges that arise from the request is removed.
In general, the principle is for employers to seek ways to make requests work.
Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
The changes proposed from 6th April 2024 include the right to take the leave at any point in the first 52 weeks after birth, and it can be taken in two blocks.
New Carers Leave Regulations
Effective from 6th April 2024, this is another day one right for employees to take up to one week of unpaid leave each year to care for a dependent with a long-term care need. This can be taken in one block or full/half day installments.
A long-term care need is defined as an illness or injury that will require care for over 3 months which includes a disability and care due to old age.
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
Effective 6th April 2024 this is an extension of the existing protection which places a requirement for an employer to offer someone on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave an alternative role over anyone else provisionally selected for redundancy. The extension now covers the period, which is essentially 18 months from birth or adoption, so covers the return-to-work period.
Changes to TUPE consultation requirements
For transfers that happen after 1st July 2024, employers will no longer need to go through the process of electing representatives if either of the following applies:
- They employee fifty or fewer staff
- The transfer involves ten or fewer staff.
Others to keep on your radar:
- Right to request a predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks’ service, and compensation where shifts are cancelled at short notice.
- Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) expected in April 2025 – giving 12 weeks paid leave if an employees new baby requires a stay in hospital of over 7 days.
- The Worker Protection (Amendment to Equality Act 2010) – introduces a new positive duty on employers to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace – expected October 2024.
- New rules on post termination non-compete clauses which could be limited to 3 months.
Overall, whilst there are lots of employment law changes, most of these changes are relatively minor and should not create any significantly greater burden on employees. They will require updates to policies and staff handbooks. If you haven’t reviewed your policies in a while – now would be a good time. Get in touch for a no obligation quote or to learn more about how the Rise HR team can help you. Call us on 0844 854 6704 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.