Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
19 Feb 24
Employment Law: Changes to Expect in 2024

Elise Wilks of our Employment Law team highlights the changes we can expect in employment law this year.

Following the new year, a number of changes are expected to take place within the field of employment law. We will deal with the increase to the national minimum wage and various changes which will shape the legislation governing the workplace this year and beyond.

Changes to Working Time Regulations

Following a consultation of proposals to amend holiday entitlement, the Government has amended the current Working Time Regulations via the introduction of The Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023.

Record-keeping requirements: From 1st January 2024. employers no longer need to comply with the requirement of increased record-keeping provided they can demonstrate compliance with weekly working limits.

Carrying over holiday: From 1st January 2024, if a worker is unable to take some or all of their statutory holiday entitlement for various reasons legislation has now been amended to allow some or all of this leave to allow rest from carrying out the work they are required to do under their contract of employment.

Holiday Accrual: From 1st April 2024, the regulations will be amended to introduce accrual methods to calculate leave entitlement for workers working irregular hours and part-year workers which will include some agency workers. This will be based on 12.07% hours workers in the preceding pay period unless a period of sick leave or statutory leave has been taken in which case a different calculation will be used. Employers will now be entitled to pay rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hour workers and part-year workers only.

The legislation can be found here:

Changes to National Minimum Wage

From 1st April 2024, the National Living Wage, will increase to £11.44 per hour for workers over 21 from the current wage of £10.42 per hours for workers over 23 and £10.18 per hour for workers aged 21-22. This will also be applicable to live-in domestic workers such as nannies and au pairs from 1st April 2024.

The government announcement can be found here:

Changes to Flexible Working

Following changes to the way in which we work due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has reviewed the position the legal requirement surrounding flexible working requests and have amended the current law.

From 6th April 2024, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Act) 2023 will come into force and will make the following changes to the current law:

  • Employees will no longer be required to explain the potential effects their request for flexible working will have on their employer and will not have to provide solutions for these potential effects.
  • Employees will be entitled to two requests for flexible working in a 12-month period, rather than the once request they are currently afforded.
  • Employers will be unable to refuse an employee’s request unless they have consulted with the employee beforehand.
  • Employers will be required to make a decision within two months of the employee’s request unless a longer decision period is agreed, rather than the three months they are currently afforded.

In addition, the Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 will remove the requirement of 26 weeks continuous employment before a flexible working request can be made and this request will become a right afforded to an employee of the first day of their employment. This comes into force on 6th April 2024.

These changes will be supported by an update to ACAS’ Code of Practice which will come into effect in April 2024.

The legislation can be found here:

Changes to redundancy protection for pregnant employees and new parents

In an attempt to address concerns surrounding employment discrimination against new parents, the Government have sought to enhance redundancy protection for pregnant workers and working parents returning to the workplace after taking family related leave.

From 6th April 2024, the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will come into force, extending priority status to redeployment opportunities in a redundancy situation to pregnant employees and those who have recently returned from maternity/adoption leave and shared parental leave.

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave: For pregnant employees, redundancy protection would be afforded to them where their employer has been notified of their pregnancy on or after 6th April 2024. This protection, from 6th April 2024, will end 18 months from the child’s date of birth if notified to the employer or 18 months of the expected week of birth if not notified. If an employee suffers a miscarriage the protection will end two weeks after the end of the pregnancy unless the pregnancy has ended after 24 weeks, in which case they would be entitled to full statutory maternity leave.

Adoption Leave: For employees taking adoption leave, when the Act comes into force, the protection would apply from the beginning of their adoption leave and would end 18 months after their child’s placement for adoptions or the date they enter Great Britain in the case of overseas adoptions.

Shared parental leave: For employees taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL) the protection afforded would apply from the beginning of their SPL. If less than six weeks of their SPL has been taken the protection would end at the end of their leave, however, if more than six continuous weeks of SPL had been taken, their protection would be extended to 18 months from the child’s date of birth. If the employee had also taken maternity or adoption leave, the period relating to maternity or adoption leave would apply instead.

The legislation can be found here:

Changes to Paternity Leave

Following a government consultation conducted in July 2019 relating to options for reforming parental leave and pay, the Government have sought to introduce changes to the existing Paternity Pay and Leave entitlement to introduce greater flexibility for new parents in an attempt to promote gender equality and move toward a more equal system of parental leave.

Under The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024, which comes into force on 6th April 2024, employees who are expecting a child on or after 6th April 2024, either by childbirth or placement via adoption, will have the right to take their paternity leave as two separate one-week blocks, rather than having to take their leave consecutively.

Employees will be entitled to take their leave at any time in the 52 weeks after birth or adoption, rather than the current 56 days following birth, and they will only need to give 28 days’ notice of their intention to take paternity leave which has been reduced from the current 15 weeks before birth. The date the employee wishes to take their paternity leave can be varied with 28 days’ notice.

The legislation can be found here:

Carer’s Leave

The current employment law would require an employee to use other forms of leave such as annual leave, family leave, flexible working or time off for dependants in order to manage caring responsibilities, however, these forms of leave are not suited to the responsibilities required of carers and often cannot be agreed in emergent situations or are limited in use.

To combat the issues carers face, the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 was introduced and is due to come into force on 6th April 2024. The leave will be available to employees from commencement of employment and is intended to allow individuals to provide or arrange care for dependants with long-term care needs.

Employees are entitled to take one week’s unpaid leave to provide or arrange care in a 12-month period. The number of weeks’ entitlement is limited to one full week per employee and does not increase based on the number of dependants.

Requests for carers leave can be taken consecutively, or non-consecutively, as half-days or full days up to and including taking a whole week block of leave at one time.

An employer is entitled to postpone a request for leave on the basis it disrupts business needs, however, the employer has a duty to allow the leave to be taken within one-month of the start date the leave was initially requested. 

A protection is also afforded to employees should they be subject to a detriment or dismissal because they take or seek to take carer’s leave and a new requirement has been imposed on employers to ensure they either introduce a new policy or update any existing “time off” policies to reflect the statutory changes. Where employees already have contractual rights to such leave, the employee will be entitled to choose whether they wish to use their existing contract or whether they wish to use the new statutory entitlement.

The legislation can be found here:

Dismissal and re-engagement

Following the mass redundancies announced by P&O Ferries without consultation or notice, a draft Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement for consultation was published in 2023 seeking to address “fire and re-hire” practices. The final version of the Code of Practice is expected to be published in Spring 2024.

The draft Code of Practice can be found here:

Changes to TUPE

The introduction of The Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023) also makes amendments to existing TUPE consultation requirements.

Where a TUPE transfer is to take place on or after 1st July 2024, small business with fewer than 50 employees undertaking a transfer of any size will be permitted to consult directly with the employees and not undertake a collective consultation as part of the transfer process where no existing representatives are in place. The same will be said for a business of any size undertaking a small transfer of less than 10 employees.

The legislation can be found here:

Changes to Tip Allocation

From 1st July 2024, a new obligation on employers will be introduced to ensure 100% of tips are paid to workers, including agency workers, in full, with no deductions and that the allocation of tips to staff is fair, under the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023.

A draft statutory code of practice was published on 15th December 2023 to help employers and workers understand the new legislation. This code of practice is open for consultation until 22nd February 2024 and aims to provide hospitality employers and workers more fair and transparent allocation of qualifying tips. This will also be applicable to employers and workers of other sectors that use tipping practices.

The legislation can be found here:

Right to request a more predictable contract

A new statutory right will be provided to workers and agency workers to request a more predictable working pattern where there is a lack of predictability to their work pattern and to those on a fixed-term contract of 12 months or less.

This will come into effect with the passing of The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 which is expected to come into force in September or October 2024.

There will be a minimum service requirement to access the right, which is expected to be 26 weeks, however, regulations will specify this and further statutory procedure.

The legislation can be found here:

Protection from Harassment

In order to address an unacceptable prevalence of sexual harassment at work the law in the UK is being amended to update potentially out of date legislation found within the Equality Act 2010.

In October 2024, legislation will be amended by the introduction of The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023, to introduce a duty on employers to take “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment of their employees in the course of their employment. This places a proactive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment within their workplace and to make their workplace a safe environment for all staff.

In cases where an employment tribunal finds an employer has failed in their duty to take “reasonable steps” it will have the power to award an uplift up to 25% of the Claimant’s compensation awarded.

Any workplace policies will need to be reviewed and training will need to take place for employers to ensure they are compliant prior to the legislation coming into force in October 2024.

The legislation can be found here:

Legislation expected in 2025

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023: This act, expected to come into force by April 2025, will allow parents of newborn babies hospitalised in the first 28 days of life for 7 or more days, to take neonatal leave and pau for up to 12 weeks. This allows parents to spend more time with their babies who are receiving specialist care, without having to take unpair leave or worry about returning to work. The entitlement to return to the same job after their period of absence will also apply.

The legislation can be found here:

Evidently, there are many changes set to take place in the coming year which will, no doubt, provide wider rights to many employees and workers and will place some demanding obligations and expectations on employers to accommodate the rights of their staff.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. For further information and bespoke specialist advice contact our employment law team at or call 01495768932.

Contact us today 0300 1240 400