2024 is set to bring with it a bumper lot of employment law developments. As your trusted HR resource, we strive to provide you with accurate, timely and relevant information that will help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of employment law. Let’s take a dive in and see what you need to know for your business.
Holiday pay, TUPE and Working Time
The Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023, due to come into force from 1 January 2024, changes the law relating to holiday pay, TUPE and working time.
The aim is to remove unnecessary bureaucracy which often hinders businesses.
Changes relating to holiday come into effect on 1st April 2024. For more information, join Gemma for our GFHR Connect! Power Hour on 25th January 11am.
Meeting ID: 886 1822 5952
TUPE consultation requirements will also change for transfers on or after 1 July 2024. The proposed reforms will allow small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) and businesses of any size undertaking a small transfer (of fewer than ten employees) to consult directly with their employees if there are no existing worker representatives in place.
Under the changes, businesses will still be required to keep “adequate” records to demonstrate compliance with the Working Time Regulations, however these no longer need to be as detailed.
Paternity Leave changes
Following a consultation, paternity leave laws are set to change. Employed fathers/partners will be able to take the current two-week paternity leave in two separate blocks of one week (rather than in one block at present). They will be able to take their paternity leave at any time in the first year (rather than just in the first eight weeks). Additionally, only 28 days’ notice of the proposed paternity leave dates will need to be given, with notice of entitlement to be provided 15 weeks before the child’s birth.
Carer’s Leave Act
The Carer’s Leave Act guarantees eligible employees the statutory right (from the start of their employment) to take one week’s unpaid leave per year to care for a dependant. This comes into effect in April 2024.
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
Redundancy protection is due to be extended for pregnant workers and working parents returning to the workplace after family related leave.
It is anticipated that existing priority status (i.e., being offered any suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation) will be also extended to employees who are pregnant, have recently suffered a miscarriage, adoption leave returners, and shared parental leave returners.
Changes to Flexible Working requests
Changes are due in Summer 2024. Please click here to read our previous blog relating to these changes.
New code of practice on diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI)
A new code of practice has been issued by The British Standards Institute (BSI) It is to help support employers to build a more diverse and inclusive culture. It offers practical guidance on implementing a DEI framework, including aspects such as recruitment, employee behaviour, and supporting underrepresented groups.
Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 This legislation makes it unlawful for businesses to withhold tips (without making deductions) from their employees. This law provides protection to many hospitality workers who rely on tips to make up their earnings.
Businesses must ensure tips are allocated fairly, no later than the end of the month following the month in which the payment was made by the customer, that they have a written policy and keep a three-year record.
We would advise all our hospitality clients to ensure they have a written policy in place and that all managers are aware of the new law, due to come into effect in July 2024.
Right To Request Predictable Work Patterns
The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act introduces a new statutory right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern (including hours, working days and the duration of their engagement or employment). Organisations, particularly employers with casual workers, should be aware of this new law.
It is likely to come into force in September 2024 and the process will mirror the flexible working framework, including a process and limited and specified grounds for refusal.
The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 will come into force in October 2024. All employers will be under a statutory duty to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. If employers fail to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment, then the Equality and Human Right Commission can take enforcement steps, plus any successful tribunal claim will be subject to a compensation uplift of up to 25%.
The Neonatal care (Leave and Pay) Act. This is anticipated to come in in April 2025. It grants parents of newborns hospitalised within the first 28 days of life entitlement to leave (up to 12 weeks as a single block after maternity/paternity leave) and pay if the baby stays continuously in hospital for 7 or more days. This leave is available from the first day of employment.
It is not yet clear how this new right aligns with shared parental leave.
Labour Party’s guaranteed new employment rights bill The Labour Party has promised to introduce a new employment rights bill within 100 days if the party wins the next general election. We will wait to see what happens with this and update you as soon as we know more.
A new law prohibiting confidentiality clauses in contracts or settlement agreements from preventing disclosures to the police, regulated health and care or legal professionals to be introduced; and
A new law to increase the break needed to end continuous employment from one week to four weeks to be introduced.
We understand that navigating the complexities of legal changes can be challenging in an ever-changing environment. Updating your policies and ensuring you adhere to the employment law changes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Let us handle the intricacies, allowing you to focus on what you do best – running a successful business. Contact us today.