Employment law is changing in 2024.
This year marks a period of substantial updates, impacting various aspects of the workplace and across numerous sectors.
Understanding these changes is essential for compliance and maintaining a harmonious workplace, so make sure you plan accordingly and make yourself familiar with what’s to come.
Flexible working (from 6 April 2024)
Employees will be able to request flexible working arrangements from their first day of employment, a significant departure from the previous 26 weeks’ service requirement.
This change means employers will need to promptly adjust their policies and management strategies.
They must be ready to efficiently handle an increased volume of requests, ensuring their flexible working policies are clear, fair, and in line with the new legislation.
Training for managers and HR staff will be essential to appropriately process these requests, focusing on negotiation and compliance.
Carer’s leave (effective 6 April 2024)
Starting 6 April, employees can take up to one week of unpaid leave to care for a dependent with long-term needs.
The minimum leave period is half a day.
Predictable working patterns (starting September 2024)
In September 2024, workers on irregular hours or short-term contracts will gain the right to request more predictable working patterns.
This change aims to enhance job stability and planning for employees, but it will mean that, as an employer, you might have to rethink your current schedules and rotas.
Changes to holiday law (effective 1 April 2024)
New rules for calculating holiday pay for part-year and irregular-hours workers come into effect on 1 April.
This includes defining ‘normal remuneration’ and allowing rolled-up holiday pay.
These changes ensure fairer holiday pay calculation, but you might want to discuss them with your payroll department and a solicitor specialising in employment law compliance.
Neonatal care changes (likely April 2025)
The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 offers a new statutory right for paid leave for parents if their baby requires neonatal care.
This Act has received Royal assent but will not be fully implemented until 2025.
Having said that, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and to begin looking at your policies early.
Allocation of tips (effective 1 July 2024)
The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023, coming into effect on 1 July 2024, requires that all tips received must be passed directly to workers without any deductions, except those mandated by law, such as taxes.
This legislation primarily impacts sectors like hospitality, where tipping is common, and aims to ensure that workers receive fair compensation for their service.
If you are an employer, particularly in the hospitality industry, you should review and adjust your current practices regarding tip allocation.
You will need to establish transparent and compliant systems for distributing tips, ensuring that employees receive the full amount of the gratuities they earn.
This move towards greater transparency and fairness in tip distribution also calls for clear communication with both staff and customers about how tips are handled.
National Living Wage increase (from 1 April 2024)
The National Living Wage will see a significant increase to £11.44 per hour from 1 April.
This is the largest increase to date, reflecting the rising cost of living and aiming to narrow the gap with the real living wage.
If you’re an employer, you need to look at your compliance as well as your finances.
Do not neglect one for the other.
Statutory code of practice on fire and rehire (expected Spring 2024)
A new Statutory Code of Practice on fire and rehire practices is expected this Spring.
This will provide much-needed guidance and clarity on these controversial practices.
Not only does fire and rehire create employee dissatisfaction and promote a bad public image but it walks the line of non-compliance very closely.
The above changes reflect a shift towards more flexible, fair, and family-friendly working practices where the employee is placed at the centre.
However, many of these new policies have created compliance nightmares for our clients that are either just emerging or are soon to come.
We strongly recommend getting in touch with your solicitor as soon as possible to prepare for new laws and legislation.
We can help you implement workplace policies that save you money, time, and compliance issues later.
For any questions you may have relating to this article please contact Eileen Schofield, consultant and qualified employment law solicitor at Mackrell.Solicitors on 0121 827 4111 or email: email@example.com
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