Employment Law Changes 2024 That Will Impact Your Workplace

Legislation changes

Are you aware of the changes coming into effect from April 2024?

These changes are designed to enhance employee rights, promote flexible working arrangements, and address modern working practices. It is crucial that you stay informed and update your HR policies in line with the employment law changes which will take effect in April 2024. Otherwise, you could end up with dissatisfied employees, fines for non-compliance or even end up dealing with Employment Tribunal claims, which are highly expensive to defend.

Here are the key upcoming changes to be aware of:

1. Holiday Pay

Holiday pay changes from 1 April 2024 allow employers to use a simple “rolled-up” method, automatically adding 12.07% so that workers pay includes holiday pay. Legislation reintroduces rolled up holiday pay for those who work irregular hours (examples include those on zero-hour contracts, casual workers, or term-time workers). This will be seen as great news for many employers who have struggled with the calculation and management of holiday pay for employees and workers who do not have regular work patterns.

Holiday reforms apply to holiday leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024.

What do employers need to do next?

Update you holiday policy if you are planning to use the rolled-up holiday method going forward. If you employ workers on irregular hours and part-year workers, you can consult with them to introduce rolled-up holiday pay from April 2024. It means their holiday entitlement is included in their hourly rate instead of separate payments.

If employees accept the change to the way holiday pay is calculated make sure you capture this agreement in writing and make it clear the 12.07% increase is for holiday pay.

Act now to prevent any issues once the changes come into effect in April!

2. Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations

Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 allow employees to have a ‘day one’ right to request flexible working arrangements, including remote working, compressed hours, and job-sharing for applications from 6 April 2024.

Currently employees must have 26 weeks of service to make a flexible working request, so this is a big change, but there are benefits in this approach from a recruitment and attraction perspective.

Other changes to flexible working requests include:

  • Employees will be able to make 2 requests per year, instead of the current one.
  • Employees will no longer be required to explain the effect their request will have on the employer or how the impact might be dealt with.
  • Employers decision-making period will be 2 months (currently it is 3 months).
  • Employers will be required to consult with an employee before refusing a request.
  • Employers will be required to consider requests seriously and provide a fair and transparent response.

What do employers need to do next?

Review and update any policies or procedures on Flexible Working. You should make managers aware of these changes and offer training in dealing with Flexible Working requests.

It is also good practice to be open and transparent with employees on any changes you make to policies and procedures, so they know how and when to use them. And as we’ve said use them as a recruiting tool – highlight flexible working in your job adverts as this is a very attractive benefit.

Have a read through our blog on Flexible working – https://albanyhr.com/news/the-great-reset-on-flexible-working/

3. Carer’s Leave Act

Carer’s Leave Act 2023.  From 6 April 2024, employees with caring responsibilities will be granted a legal right to take up to 5 days off a year to fulfil their responsibilities. These days will be unpaid and can be taken as full or half days. Employees can choose whether to take it as one continuous week of leave, or as multiple shorter periods throughout the year.

What do employers need to do next?

The Act has been given legislative consent and will come into force on 6 April 2024. However, the regulations are in draft form, and we are still awaiting clarity on the details. In the meantime, employers are still advised to review policies and set out how employees with caring responsibilities can take this leave. You may need to review any systems or processes to deal with requests and how to record and monitor taking this leave and consider training your managers in how to respond to requests. Take time also to think about whether it’s an option for this leave to be paid, taking into account workforce demographics and your employer brand.

We have a blog on Family Friendly Leave and everything you need to know – https://albanyhr.com/employment-law/know-family-friendly-leave/

4. Protection from Redundancy Act – Extended Protection for Pregnant Women and New Parents

Extended Redundancy Protection for Pregnant women and new parents (Protection from Redundancy Act) comes into force from 6 April 2024. This will mean that any employee on maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave who has been selected for redundancy, must be offered alternative employment where there is a ‘suitable’ available vacancy. The new rules will apply where the notification of pregnancy is on or after 6 April 2024. This will be the case for 18 months from the date of the child’s birth or when a child is placed for adoption.

What do employers need to do next?

If you have a redundancy policy you should review this to extend the protection period for employees on maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave. If you have redundancies in the near future, make sure you comply with the offer of a ‘suitable’ available vacancy for those who are pregnant or new parents.

Essentially this means that new parents have the right to be offered alternative roles before other employee. Except where another employee is disabled, regardless of employer preferences for other candidates.

Our case study on handling redundancies may be helpful – https://albanyhr.com/case-studies/redundancy-handling/

5. New National Minimum Wage

New National Minimum Wage (NMW) levels will be set at £11.44 per hour from 1 April 2024 for those Also, 21 and over. Also, from 1 April 2024 workers aged 18-20 are entitled to £8.60 per hour. Workers aged 16-17 and those under 19 in an apprentice (or in the first year of apprentice if over the age of 19) are entitled to £6.40 per hour.

Please note from 1 April 2024, NMW will be applied to all workers aged 21 and over. Previously NMW was applied to all workers aged 23 and over and a separate rate was set for 21–22-year-olds.

What do employers need to do to get ready for the employment law changes coming in 2024?

Check what NMW rates employees are entitled to as age bands have changed and this may have wider implications than in previous years. Notify applicable employees of the change in hourly rate.

Be aware of when an employee will be due to move into the next pay age band. It applies from the first day of the next pay period; for example, if a worker turns 21 on May 25, and their next pay reference period begins on June 1, they will receive the NLW from June 1.

Non-compliance can result in an enforcement notice requiring you to pay the difference between what was paid and what the worker should have received under the NMW legislation. Calculated at the time of the payment. Further non-compliance can result in higher fines.

6. Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023

Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 states employers must pass on any tips, gratuities, or service charges to workers. Employers will be required to have a policy that details how tips are to be shared. If tips are found to have been unfairly distributed, employees can make a claim and potentially be offered compensation of up to £5000. This comes into force on 1 July 2024.

What do employers need to do next?

If your employees do receive tips, you should introduce a policy outlining how tips will be shared. You should discuss this in advance with employees so that the know this is coming.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape

Staying up to date with the evolving employment landscape is essential for maintaining a compliant and fair workplace. You should proactively review policies and practices. To ensure they align with the latest changes and foster a supportive and equitable work environment for all employees.

Albany HR can help with:

  • HR Policy reviews, updates, and implementation
  • Training for managers and employees

Special Offer

We have some great policy and procedure templates which are fully up to date with the incoming changes which you can purchase either individually (£99) or as a set (£475). We can also update them with your details and brand for an additional fee.

The following policies are available:

Flexible Working Policy

Holiday Policy

Maternity and Family Friendly Policy

Redundancy Policy

Religious and National Holiday Celebrations Policy

Please get in touch at letstalk@albanyhr.com or 0131 364 4186.

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