Employment Law Changes Coming in April 2024

March 19, 2024

By Damian Phillips

April 2024 will see a raft of employment law changes, most of which will come into effect on the 6th. Our employment law team have summarised these changes and explain what every employer must do before April to be compliant.

What policy changes will you need to make?

  • Carer’s Leave Policy

This is a new, day one right for employees to take one week’s unpaid leave each year to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need.

Every employer will need to put in place a new Carer’s Leave Policy, and ensure that employees who take this leave are not subject to dismissal or a detriment as a result of having taken the leave. For more information, we’ve previously covered this topic here.

  • Paternity Leave Policy

Employers need to amend their Paternity Leave policies to allow fathers and partners to take their paternity leave at any time in the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. For the first time, paternity leave will now be available in two one-week chunks. Policies will also need to be amended to reflect the fact that the notice period for taking paternity leave will be reduced to 28 days (currently at least 15 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth). Find out more here.

  • Redundancy Policy

Currently, those on maternity leave have first refusal on suitable alternative employment in redundancy situations. From next month, this protection will be extended to: (a) as early as the date an employee notifies their employer of their pregnancy, and (b) as late as 18 months after the date of childbirth. Employers will need to update their Redundancy policies to reflect this extended protection.

  • Flexible Working Policy

From next month, employees will be given a day-one right to make a flexible working request (rather than having to wait until they’ve been employed for 6 months). Also, employees will be able to make two flexible working requests per year and employers will need to respond quicker to the requests. Employers will need to update their Flexible Working Policy to reflect these changes, which are discussed further here.

What other changes do I need to be aware of?

  • Holiday pay

From the start of an employer’s first holiday year following 1 April 2024, employers will be able to pay rolled-up holiday pay to irregular hours and part-year workers. From this date, the 12.07% of hours worked calculation method will be reintroduced. This means that employers will be able to calculate irregular and part year workers’ holiday entitlement based on 12.07% of the hours worked, and pay holiday pay at 12.07% of the salary received by the worker.

To prepare for this change, employers should check their casual worker contracts, part-year contracts and Holidays Policy. We have covered this topic in greater detail here.

  • National Minimum Wage increases

The national living wage will increase on 1 April from £10.42 to £11.44, a jump of almost 10%, and apply to workers aged 21 and over (having previously been those aged 23 and over).

If you require advice or assistance on the above changes which are coming into force next month, contact Damian Phillips on 029 2082 9126 or dphillips@darwingray.com for a free initial chat to see how we can help you.

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